Thursday, September 22, 2011

Howden School and Technology College out of Special Measures

I thought the highlights of a school Governor was being the Chair of the Governing body at Gilberdyke Primary School when we achieved the status of an ‘Outstanding School’, it was something we had built up to year on year, the management of the school and the systems were excellent, the kids were well behaved, and the parents, teachers and staff were very proud of ‘their’ school. It was great to appear alongside long-standing Head Martin Alger before the Council's Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee and answer the question posed by the Chair on the day, “Now Cllr Robinson will tell us how to achieve an outstanding report from OFSTED”.

I still remain a member of the Governing Body at Gilberdyke, but in addition was asked to become a Local Authority appointed Governor at Howden School and Technology College (my old school) when it was plunged into special measures last year. This was certainly going to be a challenge.

Recently the school achieved its best GSCE results its history with 55% achieving grades A* – C in five subjects including maths and English, and acknowledged as being the most improved School in the East Riding of Yorkshire, so we knew we were on the right track.

I must say that previous highlight has most certainly been matched this week, as on Tuesday and Wednesday, 20th and 21st September, Mr Bernard Campbell HMI and his team came to Howden School to carry out their third monitoring visit. They were so pleased with what they saw they decided on Tuesday night to turn the monitoring visit into a full Section 5 Inspection (The basic Ofsted inspection that all schools get).

The outcome of the Section 5 Inspection was that the school is now a ‘satisfactory’, school and therefore does not require ‘special measures’. This means that from today (Thursday) officially the School is out of special measures.

I know just how much work has gone into picking up the pieces and rebuilding the school, and I’m immensely proud of my fellow Governors, the Executive Head Dave McCreedy, and Acting Head Gary Garghan (both ‘loaned’ to us by Wolfreton School), the teachers and staff, parents and carers, and the officers of the Local Authority – but most of all the students who have worked so hard to get the label of ‘special measures lifted.

I understand it is almost unprecedented for a school to rid themselves of the ‘special measures’ tag after just 3 monitoring visits, so this is an amazing outcome. This is truly the result of what can happen when all stakeholders: students, parents / carers, staff, governors, community partners come together in a common cause – this is has become known as ‘Team Howden’ and I’m proud to have been part of that team.

Acting Head Gary Garghan best summed it up when he said, “So we have now exchanged the miserable category ‘special measures’ for one that says we are ‘ok’. Not good enough for ‘Team Howden!’ The mission to move towards being an outstanding school starts today!!!!!!” – I could not agree more.....

No comments: