A secondary school in Brighton has improved but still “requires improvement”, according to Ofsted, the government’s official schools inspector.
Ofsted gave its verdict in a report to Longhill High School, in Rottingdean. The report is being shared with staff, parents and pupils today (Thursday 14 April).
The school said: “The report for Longhill’s recent Ofsted inspection has now been received and, as identified in the school’s own self-evaluation, the overall judgment has remained that the school ‘requires improvement’.
“The report, however, is clear about the improvements the school has made since its last inspection and identifies many significant strengths.
- There is much expertise within the teaching staff which generates enthusiasm for learning in many pupils.
- Almost all pupils proceed into further education, employment or training – a higher proportion than seen nationally.
- Pupils feel safe and secure within the school, are respectful of others, helpful towards visitors and have positive and respectful relationships with teachers.
- The work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is good and the quality of care for pupils is strong, whatever their learning or personal needs.
- Strong assessment procedures mean that students feel confident that they know what to do to improve their work.
- Some departments have developed very effective ways to prepare pupils for tests and GCSE examinations.
“The Ofsted report also confirmed the areas where further improvements remain to be made.
“We need to ensure that the improvements in teaching and outcomes that have been achieved across many subjects are realised across all subjects.
“This is particularly the case with regards to our focus on closing the gap between outcomes for disadvantaged pupils and other pupils, within school and nationally, which is closing but is still too wide.
“Our continuing focus on developing all students’ literacy skills was seen as an important aspect of these two aims.
“We also need to ensure that our school behaviour policy is applied consistently at all times.
“The report was positive about the work of our acting head, who is ‘steering the school forward very well and concentrating on the key areas that need improvement’ and it confirmed that the school is being supported by governors who are described in the report as ‘determined to improve outcomes’.
“The areas Ofsted have identified for improvement provide a clear focus for the future.
“It has been confirmed that the school is moving in the right direction and that our new head teacher Kate Williams will have very solid foundations for driving forward further improvements when she joins the school later this summer.
“Everyone in the senior leadership team, as well as the whole-school staff and governing board, appreciates the continued support of parents and the community.
“We are united in our determination to make Longhill a great school for all our present and future students.”
Kate Williams is joining Longhill from Strood Academy in Medway, Kent, where she is vice principal. She said: “I have six years’ experience of leading schools in challenging circumstances.
“I was part of the founding leadership team that joined two failing schools together to form Strood Academy in 2009.
“The academy needed rapid improvement and we have been successful in doubling outcomes for students.
“We have moved to ‘good’, with Ofsted saying ‘this is a thriving and rapidly improving academy’ in 2013.
“Prior to 2009 I held a position of head of mathematics and science in my previous school.”
Her background is as a maths teacher and she added: “I have a passion for making a difference and for raising both the expectations and achievements of the entire community.
“I am looking forward to working with all the students, staff, parents and all the stakeholders at Longhill High School.”
Having already spent some time at Longhill she said: “I believe that it has a bright future and I am very excited to be a part of it.”