GALLERY: Thomas Clarkson CC gets a tangible bounce as Ofsted notes vast improvements

PUBLISHED: 10:20 04 November 2011 | UPDATED: 10:40 04 November 2011

Head teacher at the Thomas Clarkson Community College Maureen Strudwick with some of her pupils celebrate a great Ofsted.

Head teacher at the Thomas Clarkson Community College Maureen Strudwick with some of her pupils celebrate a great Ofsted.


A YEAR of hard work has paid off for Thomas Clarkson Community College as Ofsted inspectors returned and found a vastly improving picture.

A year after the school was judged to require a notice of improvement, inspectors have lifted the notice and declared the school’s overall effectiveness as satisfactory.

After hearing the news, principal Maureen Strudwick said: “This is wonderful news. We are delighted. This judgment reflects the commitment and hard work of a great team.

“What is most satisfying is that a large amount of the teaching here is now judged to be good or outstanding.

“We are also pleased that Ofsted has said our capacity for improvement is good. That shows great faith in the school.

How Thomas Clarkson impressed inspectors

• ATTENDANCE is still low but continues to improve. The report says: “Attendance figures for this academic year to date are higher than they have been for a long time.”

• EXAM results continue to improve, even though they are still below the national average. The proportion of students gaining five GCSEs at A*-C is improving slowly but steadily.

Attainment in English continues to improve and is in line with national averages.

Ms Strudwick said: “Our results data is still not good enough, but Ofsted says we have everything in place to ensure the results are going to improve; we have shown good progress.”

• GOVERNORS at the school were praised “and good use is made of their knowledge and experience to drive improvement.”

• OFSTED wants to raise the quality of teaching from satisfactory to good, improve attendance to at least satisfactory and maintain the positive improvements, particularly those in learning and progress.

• THE report says the college has worked effectively to decrease exclusions and racist incidents but there are incidents of “minor rivalries” between groups.

Parents have also expressed concern about their children’s safety but the inspectors found the college’s safeguarding arrangement were good and the number of reported incidents of bullying continues to fall.

• THE college’s RESPECT initiative – a set of values set out for students – was praised by inspectors who say it is “fundamental to achieving a multi-cultural college society”.

Ms Strudwick said: “We are very pleased, but there is no complacency. We are looking forward to moving to our new building and becoming an academy; that will help us take the improvement further.

“It is a case of onwards and upwards. As I often tell the children, Thomas Clarkson Community College is moving on up.”

“What I need to do now is work with the community so that we can restore their faith in us.”

Ofsted says teaching has continued to improve and significant improvements have been made in students’ behaviour.

It said Ms Strudwick and her staff have established “a strong culture of high expectation and achievement”.

The report noted that “morale is now high, with staff committed to improving the quality of teaching and learning and outcomes for students.

“Teaching continues to improve. It is now particularly strong in key subjects of English and mathematics.

“The proportion of teaching that is good or better has improved to 68 per cent, with more examples of outstanding teaching than ever before.”

The report adds: “Relationships are very productive and teachers have high expectations. As a result, students enjoy their lessons and show very good attitudes to learning.”

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