Horsham school rated ‘Outstanding’ three months after blaze

JPCT 110614 S14242414x Horsham. Millais School. Outstanding Ofsted result -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141106-103221001
JPCT 110614 S14242414x Horsham. Millais School. Outstanding Ofsted result -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141106-103221001

Staff and students at Millais School are set to end the academic year on a high note after the school was ranked ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

The Horsham secondary school received the highest possible grade from the education regulatory body less than three months after a devastating blaze that damaged part of the premises.

Head teacher Leon Nettley said: “To achieve this outcome in the light of recent events is exceptional.

“The report highlights the very high quality of educational provision at Millais and endorses its position as one of the leading schools in the country.

“I have always believed that this is an exceptional school and to have the magnificent contribution of staff, pupils, governors and parents recognised in this way is incredibly rewarding. A fantastic team effort!”

Millais was graded Outstanding by Ofsted in all four categories - achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.

It was therefore ranked Outstanding in overall effectiveness.

The Depot Road school was inspected on May 15-16, less than two months after pupils were evacuated from the building during the fire on Thursday March 20.

Managing a £14m on-site building project has been a further challenge for the school in recent months.

Published on Monday (June 9), the Ofsted report praises many of the school’s qualities.

It reads: “Students of all abilities make rapid and sustained progress in a wide range of subjects, including English and mathematics. Their GCSE results are very high.

“Teachers are enthusiastic and knowledgeable, plan their lessons well and set clear targets so that students know what they need to do to improve their work.

“Students’ behaviour in lessons and around the school is outstanding. They are courteous and polite, arrive to lessons on time and are ready to learn. They confirm that the school is a safe place where learning flourishes.”

In addition, ‘school leaders’ are praised within the report for ensuring ‘all members of the community were cared for both physically and psychologically’ following the fire.

The report is the second consecutive inspection after which Ofsted has labelled Millais Outstanding, with the previous success occurring in March 2010.

Year 11 pupils at Millais set up a fundraising group in the aftermath of the fire. Pupils established a Facebook page ‘A school united by flames’, illustrated with a drawing of the Millais crest on fire.