The independent London newspaper

‘Friendly’ Acland Burghley is rated good again

18 May, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Acland Burghley head Nicholas John: ‘Children, families, staff and governors should be so proud of everything they have achieved’

A SECONDARY school which went through an overhaul after being told by inspectors that it “required improvement” has bounced back to form.

Acland Burghley Secondary School sunk to a lower rung in Ofsted’s ratings chart in 2014 when it was claimed teaching was not challenging enough and pupils were left for too long “passively listening to teachers”.

The inspection also sparked a national debate on how teachers should dress after it was claimed that their attire was “too casual” at the school in Burghley Road, Tufnell Park.

There was a mix of opinions on whether the report had been too harsh but the school responded by ordering series of changes and have returned to the “good” status after its most recent inspection this year.

Headteacher Nicholas John, appointed in 2015, said: “Children, families, staff and governors should be so proud of everything they have achieved. We’re looking forward to the next exciting phase of our development.”

His leadership was praised in the latest report from Ofsted. It said: “The headteacher’s dynamic and inspirational leader­ship, ably supported by governors and school leaders, has transformed this previously less-than-good school.”

The inspection report added: “Leaders have tackled with urgency the shortcomings from the previous inspection. This has led to significant improvements in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and pupils’ outcomes.”

The improvements had led to “a positive change in how pupils act towards one another, in that they are friendlier”. It added that pupils are “well prepared for life in modern Britain” and “feel safe at school because there is always an adult they can talk to”. The teaching is “highly effective and so staff morale is extremely high” and that teenagers “enjoy their learning because their teachers make it worthwhile and fun”.

The report added: “The quality of teaching, learn­ing and assessment has improved considerably since the last inspection and is now good. This is because leaders ensure that all teachers have access to appropriate professional development programmes.”

The report, however, also suggested that overall attendance levels were “not consistently strong enough” and should be improved.


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