'Proud day' for headteacher after Ofsted praise

Nick Wergan, head of Steyning Grammar School
Nick Wergan, head of Steyning Grammar School
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Ofsted has heaped praise on a school’s “inspirational” leadership team following a short inspection.

Steyning Grammar was visited in March by a team of inspectors led by Matthew Newberry, and his findings were published on Monday (April 24).

Reaffirming the school’s ‘good’ rating, which it received in 2013, Mr Newberry complimented the work carried out by principal Nick Wergan since he was appointed three years ago.

He described the high expectations of senior leaders as a key strength of the school, and the leadership of the sixth-form as “particularly strong”.

Mr Newberry’s report said of Mr Wergan: “Your improvement planning identifies the correct priorities for further improvement and you have initiated a wide range of activities to achieve them.

“You have prioritised raising standards in English and are aware that there is more to be done to ensure greater consistency of challenge, particularly for the most able pupils.”

He added: “Steyning Grammar School is rapidly improving because of the inspirational leadership that you and your team provide.”

Mr Newberry recognised recent improvements to attendance figures but said the attendance of disadvantaged pupils needed to rise further.

Mr Wergan said he was “delighted” with Ofsted’s findings, particularly as the requirements had been made tougher since the previous inspection.

He added: “Thank you to parents and carers, staff and students for the strong support given to the school during the inspection, and the very positive feedback given in surveys.”

That feedback included one parent who told inspectors: “‘My child has had an excellent journey through the school. The headteacher and his team are passionate about learning and a learning culture underpinned by the school’s character education enables students to flourish.”

Mr Wergan added: “The inspection team were highly complimentary about our fantastic students and the great support they get at Steyning Grammar – it was a very proud day for me as headteacher.”

Regarding the areas highlighted for further improvement, he said: “We are a reflective school, always determined to improve.

“The targets Ofsted set us for further improvement were already in our school development plan and Ofsted acknowledged the ‘green shoots’ in these areas, including our plans to encourage the best possible attendance from all our students.”

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