Queensbury School, an Erdington based SEND educator, has jumped from an ‘Inadequate’ ranking to ‘Good’ in its recent Ofsted report.
The Wood End Road school, which caters for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), had a previous Ofsted report published in March 2018 – where ‘strained relationships’ were found to be ‘impacting negatively on staff morale’.
But in its most recent report, published on 11 July 2023, the Government assessment told how ‘these are exciting times at Queensbury School’ – citing ‘caring staff, an ambitious curriculum and new buildings’ as reasons for the school’s significant progress.
In stark contrast to the 2018 Ofsted report, the recent inspection further noted Queensbury School’s ‘executive headteacher, supported by an inspirational leadership team, has brought excitement and enthusiasm’ – with staff feeling ‘supported’ and ‘well led and managed through strong moral leadership.’
The fresh report went on to celebrate how ‘staff work hard with parents to overcome barriers in order to get the best outcomes for pupils’ and foster ‘caring relationships between staff and pupils help pupils to feel safe and secure.’
Queensbury’s sixth form was found to be a ‘real strength of the school’, with ‘a strong careers team’ and partnership work offering ‘exciting and powerful real-life work-related traineeships for Year 14s.’
The school’s approach to bullying was given a special commendation, with Ofsted inspectors finding at Queensbury ‘bullying is rare and that if it happens, they (pupils) have confidence in staff to deal with it.’
Likewise, safeguarding at Queensbury School was found to be ‘effective’ – with regular staff training allowing teachers to ‘act swiftly to raise concerns about a child’ and ‘work closely with families to ensure that all is being done to keep pupils safe.’
In their final report, it was recognised that whilst there are ‘high expectations’ from the school’s senior leadership, ‘subject leaders work skilfully with teachers’ and ‘enthusiastically develop pupils’ understanding’.
‘Good’ is the second highest mark a school can get from Ofsted – the UK government’s official regulatory body for educators – with Queensbury asked to address pupil’s regular attendance and how the school support’s their external hobbies, in the 2023 report.
Queensbury School Executive Headteacher, Chris Wilson, who came into post in November 2018 – over six months after the damning 2018 Osted report, was quick to celebrate the whole school for its efforts and recent recognition.
Mr Wilson told: “I am incredibly proud of all our students, staff and families that have supported the school to make this significant improvement from a previous special measures’ situation, when the school was judged ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted in March 2018.
“Queensbury School academised with The Education Impact Academy Trust in September 2020 and has made rapid progress ever since.
“National educational budgets, previous school deficits, cost of living crisis, Covid 19 pandemic, SEND crisis, teacher recruitment crisis, building developments, and industrial action have not made the job easy.
“However, our students have continued to be the incredible individuals they are throughout.
“We see SEND and additional needs as ‘superpowers’ that just need targeting and carefully homing in on the right areas to excel. This has always driven our staff teams, no matter what the challenges have been.”
Michael York, Chair of the local governing body, added: “The transformation in the education delivery, the facilities, training, and strong student outcomes is breathtaking in such a short space of time.
“I am sure parents appreciate the strong leadership that has been required to turn this school around for their children.”
For more on Queensbury School visit www.queensburysch.com