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Ofsted visit reconfirms continued improvement

Grange  continues its journey of improvement with another positive inspection outcome, but Headteacher Miss Mander says there is still plenty more work to be done to make Grange the school it’s community deserves. 

On 7th and 8th March 2018, we welcomed a team of Ofsted inspectors, led by Her Majesty’s Inspector Gina White to conduct the fourth monitoring visit since the school was placed in special measures back in June 2016.  The resulting letter, confirmed once again that “leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.” 

Miss Mander, who was appointed permanently in December 2017 said: “This report is very encouraging for the school as it demonstrates our progress against the areas for improvement set by Ofsted, which are at the centre of our strategic plan.  It is the result of the hard work and dedication of our staff and pupils, who as the report confirms, are working together to make bring about the changes needed to make Grange a school our local community can be proud of.”  

Miss Mander is keen to promote pride in the school and has restored a tradition from the past to support this aim: “Ever since I have been at Grange, I have been learning about the school’s long history. The term ‘Granger’ is one which has come up repeatedly, with people from across the city and beyond, many of whom are now very successful holding fond memories of their time here.  This is something we have adopted as part of our language to develop a sense of identity and the values the school teaches. We are all Grangers and we are in this together.” 

The report praises improvements in many areas, not least in leadership and management where “under the headteacher’s strategic guidance, the school is moving forwards despite the challenges in some areas of a lack of permanent staff.”  Inspectors confirm that pupils “are responding to higher expectations of their behaviour due to the constant attention and focus of all staff.”  This is reflected in what inspectors learned from the students themselves, who say that “behaviour has improved greatly” and “are aware of the higher expectations that the school has of them.”  They also “credit the headteacher’s arrival with helping to bring this about.” 

Regarding the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, there are signs of improvement since the last visit and although there are inconsistencies, the inspectors identified that “Senior and middle leaders are not complacent; they are determined to tackle weaknesses and they acknowledge that the pace of improvement needs to quicken.”

Miss Mander added: “We are under no illusions about the size of the task ahead.  The process of recovery from where Grange was in June 2016 is not one which will happen overnight.  To achieve this in the right way requires a long-term commitment.  However, this report is further evidence that we remain on the right track.  We are fully aware of what is needed to make further progress and I am confident we have the support and leadership structures in place to fulfil our commitment to the local community.”