A school which “threw the kitchen sink” at improving academic standards has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.
Worthing High School, which was in special measures until January 2014, underwent a two-day Ofsted inspection in April.
Leadership at the school, in South Farm Road, was rated ‘outstanding’ by inspector Clare Gillies and her team, with headteacher Carolyn Dickinson being praised for her work to make “rapid improvements”.
In her report, Ms Gillies said: “The headteacher’s outstanding leadership has underpinned the rapid improvements made in the last three years.”
She added: “Leaders and governors have worked very effectively together to change the school’s culture and to improve teaching and outcomes.”
The report noted the progress of students in all years – and in GCSE results – had risen since the last inspection, in January 2014.
That inspection saw Worthing High rated ‘requires improvement’ but an external reviewer later observed the school “was firefighting” to raise standards. One governor said: “We threw the kitchen sink at academic standards first.”
Mrs Dickinson described the improvements made at her school as “seismic” and said leaders were “enormously proud” of the staff and students for their continuing hard work.
She added: “The report recognises this hard work and commitment. We are also delighted to see that the professional calibre of all staff has been recognised, particularly in terms of their expert subject knowledge and very effective teaching.”
Ms Gillies’ report advised leaders to continue to improve the quality of teaching in order to gain the ‘outstanding’ rating at their next inspection – something Mrs Dickinson was confident would be achieved.
She said: “In three years’ time when we are next inspected, the exemplary practice that has already been recognised by Ofsted will be embedded throughout the school and leave us well placed for an overall ‘outstanding’ judgement.”
She added: “To achieve the seismic improvements that have happened at Worthing High takes the commitment of all stakeholders – staff, students, governors and parents – we are very fortunate to have the best staff, fantastic students, committed governors and hugely supportive parents.”
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