Scarborough’s largest school is delighted that Ofsted has acknowledged significant improvements in its latest report and says it no longer require special measures.
In December 2013, Graham School was placed into special measures following a grade four, or “inadequate”, Ofsted inspection in all four categories.
A new headteacher, Helen McEvoy, was appointed the following month to turn the tides for the struggling school.
Dramatic changes have been made, and although the overall effectiveness remains as a grade three, ‘requires improvement’, the inspection on November 3 and 4 shows the school is heading in the right direction.
The school received this grade in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare and outcomes for pupils.
Delighted with the report, headteacher Helen McEvoy spoke of the “great moment” when she told to staff the school no longer requires special measures.
She said: “This brought cheers and shouts of joy from the staff as well as a few tears, as the colleagues who had been at Graham when the school was placed in special measures enjoyed the moment of success following 22 months of very hard work, requiring sustained effort and great resilience.
“It goes with saying that I am so proud of the staff who have made the journey with me and who truly deserve to live this moment of success to the full. “Equally, I am very proud of our students who are a credit to our school and who are increasingly determined to do well at school and achieve their best. The next goal is ‘outstanding’!”
The effectiveness of leadership and management has been awarded a grade two, “good”. The report states: “The school is well led by a determined and resilient senior leadership team and a strong governing body.”
Honor Byford, chair of governors, said: “Graham School has been transformed over the past two years and everyone associated with the school should be proud of this result.
“Students are now taught in an environment where ambition thrives and where a hard- working, committed staff strive to ensure each individual fulfils their potential.”
Of the 95 teaching staff in the post at the last inspection, 46 have since left the school and “significant changes have been made to strengthen staffing.”
The “behaviour of almost all pupils has improved” as a result of “clear and consistent expectations that leaders have set”.
And the rates of progress made by pupils is improving but “not enough pupils are making the progress they are capable of because the quality of teaching does not yet consistently meet all of their learning needs”.
But “significant changes have been made to strengthen staffing” and “there are clear signs of improving outcomes for pupils” in mathematics and English as well as other subjects.