Leaders and governors of Kenton School, Newcastle's largest secondary school, have restated their commitment to drive improvements following its latest Ofsted review, published today (25 March 2019).
Kenton's Principal and the Chair of the Governing Body have shared the Ofsted inspection result of 'Requires improvement' and set out areas where the school will be making improvements.
Particular focus will be given to addressing low attendance and persistent absenteeism, along with an increased emphasis on teaching quality in certain areas, with more ambitious standards being set by teachers for all students, irrespective of background.
While Kenton received an Overall Effectiveness rating of 'Requires improvement', the School's Sixth Form was rated 'Good' by inspectors and is set to recruit increasing numbers of students in the coming year.
Kenton Principal, Sarah Holmes-Carne, acknowledged the areas for improvement and where increased efforts were being made to support all students. She explains:
"We are the largest school in the city, attracting almost 1,800 pupils from a wide variety of backgrounds and with a significant proportion of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This presents many challenges, but we are pleased that Ofsted recognised our 'passion for inclusion' and our determination to give children from the area 'another chance' at their education, so they can move on to further study, training or employment. Ofsted also highlighted our strong support for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities and that we honoured our Kenton mission: 'All Different, All Equal.'
"The report identified the quality of our teaching in art and the impressive standards we set in this subject, which was encouraging, and I am delighted that our sixth form was rated 'Good'.
"However, we recognise we have much to do and consider the rating to be a fair reflection of the issues that Kenton has faced in the past 18 months. Undoubtedly, the financial pressures we have experienced have had an impact but I am confident that we are now in a stronger position to act on the report's recommendations.
"I am very proud of the staff and students at Kenton. Together with the commitment of our governors and the support of parents, carers and families, we will make the improvements necessary to ensure all pupils achieve their best."
Additional support for Kenton's improvement plans will come from its membership of the Government's 'Opportunities North East' programme, which aims to raise attainment levels in 30 schools across the region.
Anne Malcolm, Chair of Governors at Kenton School, added:
"The school leadership and governors are totally committed to improving standards across the school and have a clear plan of how we will achieve this. The report today helps to highlight those areas that we know we have to build on as a school community.
"There were positives in the report, which we want our staff and pupils to be encouraged by. The behaviour and respect that our pupils show to each other and to teachers is something we are proud of and also the standards of our Year 11 pupils were recognised as being stronger than in previous years."
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