Positive future for Hartlepool secondary school

St hilds prefects 2 2017 Published Thursday, 13th July 2017

A HARTLEPOOL secondary school has been described as having “a positive and optimistic future” following a recent visit from Government inspectors.

Ofsted visited St Hild’s Church of England School on June 20 and 21 as part of a national programme of school inspection.

Although the report acknowledges that the school still requires improvement, inspectors praised the school for its progress in a number of areas.

In the report, Lead Inspector Dimitris Spiliotis, says: “The new headteacher and the chair of the governing body have introduced a more focussed and structured approach to school systems and processes.

“The headteacher has brought about a much-needed stability to the school. As a result, there is a positive and optimistic outlook for the future amongst pupils and staff at all levels.

“The school is beginning to see the ‘green shoots’ of the impact of the actions of leaders. Outcomes in English are improving quickly and there are small improvements in most other subjects.

“Leaders now utilise support from the local authority and the diocese more effectively. The much improved culture amongst staff has allowed the support to be more productive. The vast majority of staff are very appreciative of the changing culture and ethos, based on trust and transparency.”

Inspectors said that the variation in the quality of teaching, the progress disadvantaged pupils make and a rise in exclusions are areas where the school needs to improve.

However, on behaviour and exclusions the report states: “Since the new headteacher arrived, there has been a rise in exclusions as a result of higher expectations for behaviour. Whilst some pupils, including some who are disadvantaged, come to terms with the new higher expectations, the school’s actions here have contributed to above average rates of absence.”

Inspectors praised the attitude of pupils and their relationship with staff.

“Pupils present themselves well, wear their uniform smartly and are proud of their school. Pupils conduct themselves well and show respect for each other and staff. Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities refer to the school as ‘a family’ and that they feel ‘at home’.

“Prefects model and support positive behaviour. They are strength of the school.

“During the inspection, inspectors observed positive and constructive relationships between staff and pupils. As a result, pupils were confident to ask questions in a calm and orderly classroom environment,” says the report.

2016 saw a continued improvement in GCSE results at St Hild’s with the number of students gaining GCSE A*-C Grades in both English and Maths rising to 56%.

The report continues: “Attainment of pupils in general in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 10 also shows improvement, although less so for pupils in Year 9.

“Pupils’ conduct in lessons and around school is positive. Safeguarding is effective and pupils feel safe.”

Tracey Gibson, Headteacher of St Hild’s Church of England School, said: “This is a fair report which reflects the good progress the school is making and what we need to do to improve. We have set ourselves the highest possible standards and I am delighted Ofsted have recognised this.

“Our fantastic staff, parents/carers and governors are all working incredibly hard to ensure that all our pupils are given the opportunity to achieve the best possible start in life and there will be no let-up in our efforts to ensure we achieve this. The children are proud of their school and we are proud of how they have helped shape the many positive changes.”

Paul Rickeard, Diocesan Director of Education for Durham and Newcastle, commented: “The diocese is delighted that Ofsted has recognised the hard work that has been put in by the headteacher, governors, staff and children.  We will continue to work with the School and Hartlepool Council on the school’s journey to being outstanding."

Darren Hankey, chair of Governors at St Hild’s Church of England School, said: “I welcome Ofsted’s findings and it is pleasing to note Ofsted’s comments regarding the impact the headteacher, Tracey Gibson, has had in a relatively short period of time. The job is now to build on this good work and deliver the outcomes the School’s pupils deserve.”

The school in King Oswy Drive has 668 students aged from 11 to 16.

Picture Caption – Tracey Gibson, Headteacher of St Hild’s Church of England School is pictured with school prefects.

Press release PR15998 - 13July 2017
Issued by Alastair Rae, Public Relations Manager, on 01429 523510.