Over the past year we have given readers an insight to life at William Brookes and to the many achievements gained by our students both in and out of school. As an educational institution, we, along with the Arts Centre and Leisure Centre, have an important role to play in the life of this community, and will continue to keep you informed of relevant events and achievements that may be of interest to you. One such event occurred at the beginning of January when we hosted a two day Ofsted inspection; our first since 2009. I would like to share with you a little about their findings and hope you find this informative. We received our report in the middle of January and in summary, aspects of the school do require improvement, but we gained a lot of useful and positive feedback as well. I was particularly pleased that the inspectors recognised our good practice, strengths and progress since the disappointing GCSE results in September, describing the school as improving.
The report shows that our sixth form is rated as good and that all students make good progress towards their personal and national targets. The Inspectors clearly appreciated the way in which the school has responded to the 2014 results and observed a great deal of evidence of the positive actions during the two days that they spent in school. They were particularly impressed with the behaviour and safety of our students which is rated as good, commenting on the way that our students conduct themselves and interact in school. Clear standards, great attitudes to learning and strong relationships between staff and students were all commented upon. This strength is echoed by students who tell us that they feel both safe and happy in school and have pride in the school, keen to be the best they can be.
There is a strong desire to improve in school and the changes we have made both in terms of staffing and structures are having an impact but we are keen to see that grow further over the remainder of the academic year. The Inspectors have noted many times in the report that we have put in place strong measures to assure improvement and these measures will have an impact over time, but cannot offset the GCSE results we had last year. All staff, including governors, are committed to this desire to ensure that more students, of all abilities and gender, leave the school with better outcomes and improved life chances.
I am very proud of this school and have every desire to see it externally verified as the good or outstanding centre of learning that we want it to be.