"Staff and governors care passionately for the welfare of students in their school"

On the 29th and 30th April 2015, Tong High School was inspected by OFSTED - the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. This visit gave us a valuable external perspective.

As you are aware, Tong Leadership Academy is on a journey to improve and achieve its core purpose which is to maximise the potential of every learner and provide them with the skills, qualifications qualities and opportunities needed to succeed in an ever-changing world.

The Ofsted report was published online on Wednesday 17th June 2015. The report outlines our areas for development but it also positively describes the progress the school has been on over the past few years, highlighting strengths and successes and the plans and strategies that we have put in place to address weakness.

Overall the inspection judges the school to be in the category of ‘serious weaknesses’. Whilst the judgement in most key areas remains ‘requires improvement’, and leaders, managers and governors have been assessed as having the capacity to secure improvement, one of the main categories (achievement of pupils) is judged inadequate, which means the school has to be judged overall as ‘inadequate’.

'Serious weaknesses: This means that the school is failing to provide an adequate quality of provision in at least one of the main categories of: achievement of pupils, leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils and quality of teaching. A school is judged to require significant improvement where it has serious weaknesses because one or more of the key judgements is inadequate … However, normally, leaders, managers and governors have been assessed as having the capacity to secure improvement.' (School inspection handbook 28 January 2015 , No. 120101 – pg 29)

The Ofsted report recognises that many improvements have been achieved and are having a positive impact on the quality of provision at Tong. It also demonstrates that the Ofsted inspectors agree that the school has a plan in place to address areas of weakness and is confident that Tong has the capacity to secure improvement and that Tong will be in a stronger position to be judged as a ‘good’ school within the next 18 months. This school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

If the report recognises many improvements, why was the ‘achievement of pupils’ judged inadequate?

In last year’s GCSE results, Tong saw an increase in the results in Science and recorded exceptional Humanities, ICT, Spanish and Health and Social Care results, but unfortunately the results in Mathematics dipped and whilst English improved, it was still below the national average. This means that GCSE Maths and English results were not as good as they needed to be and this is a huge determining factor in the current Ofsted framework and judgement schedule and proved to be an insurmountable obstacle for the school to overcome in this inspection.

At the end of the last academic year we adopted robust performance management practices and increased our focus on accelerating students’ outcomes in English and mathematics. We made significant changes to the department teams and the Ofsted report states that; ‘The quality of teaching and learning in English and mathematics is improving because of staffing changes and the involvement of lead practitioners.’ The report also recognises
improvements in both mathematics and English and states that ‘currently, the progress made by students in English and mathematics, as observed in lessons and the work in their books, is improving significantly compared to last year.’

The report also states that; ‘These changes, in conjunction with partnership arrangements with good and outstanding local schools, are driving forward the improvements in progress of students across all year groups in the school. Strong leadership of teaching is leading to a culture in which teaching and good behaviour can flourish.'

I can assure you that we are doing everything we can to ensure the best outcomes for our students. As the report highlights; ‘Staff and governors care passionately for the welfare of students in their school.’ We have a plan in place to address areas of weakness and we will continue to improve and take effective action to continue to identify any emerging weaknesses and inconsistences and address these. 
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support.

Kind Regards,
Mr. S. Curran, Head teacher

Section 8 Inspection - Jan 16

The school received a short inspection (a Section 8 re-inspection) on 12th January 2016. Please click here to view a letter from Mr Curran about this re-inspection.

Section 5 Inspection - June 16

The school recueved a visit from Ofsted on 21 June 2016. 

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