‘Outstanding’ Ofsted report for Billingshurst’s The Weald School

Weald students celebrating their Ofsted report
Weald students celebrating their Ofsted report

Staff and students at The Weald School have been celebrating this week as an Ofsted report has labelled the Billingshurst school ‘Outstanding’.

The school announced the successful report on Monday (November 11), confirming that the school had improved from its ‘Good’ inspection in March 2009.

Headteacher Peter Woodman said he experienced ‘a combination of relief, excitement - lots of different emotions’ when he was informed, in a meeting, of the result.

He said: “It slowly dawns on you that the school has managed to achieve it, but you can’t jump up and down because you are in a formal meeting!

“We are thrilled that the hard work of students, staff and parents in recent years has been recognised in our latest Ofsted inspection.”

The school was marked as ‘Outstanding’ in each of the five graded categories - achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, leadership and management, and overall effectiveness.

Mr Woodman said: “I said to the staff what a fantastic collective effort over a sustained period of time it was - well done, and keep it up.

“We want to become super outstanding.

“For the last week we have been using words like ‘we are really pleased’ - there is a little bit of relief we can talk about it and celebrate.”

During the inspection, which took place just before the October half term, an Ofsted team observed 60 lessons, met with students and received 498 parental responses to an online questionnaire.

Mr Woodman added: “Our Ofsted team were staggered by the incredible response rate from parents to the online questionnaire.

“They had never seen replies from parents on such a scale before. They even commented that we may have broken the record for England and Wales.”

The education regulatory body offered high praise for several of the school’s attitudes and qualities.

The report says the headteacher, senior leaders and governing body have ‘extremely high expectations’ for the school.

Ofsted also stated that all groups of students make ‘rapid and sustained progress’.

The quality of teaching was described as ‘outstanding’, as was the ‘popular and successful’ sixth form, and students’ behaviour and attitudes.

Ofsted also offered praise for the school’s curriculum and its extra-curricular activities.