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Headteacher targets “bigger and better things” at school after watchdog assessment

PUBLISHED: 18:01 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 18:01 05 March 2018

Pakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker with key stage 4 students.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Pakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker with key stage 4 students. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

A headteacher has expressed his satisfaction after a high school’s latest Ofsted report was published, but emphasised they are “always looking to improve.”

Pakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker with key stage 4 students.
Picture: Nick ButcherPakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker with key stage 4 students. Picture: Nick Butcher

In its recent report, the education watchdog reaffirmed Pakefield High School’s effectiveness grade of good following a short inspection in January.

Short inspections, which last just one day as opposed to the longer ‘section five’ reviews, take place when a school has previously been rated as good. Pakefield received its last good rating in 2013.

The latest report - published in the form of a letter to headteacher Anthony Walker - recognised a “clear vision for the school’s development”, adding that “changes to staffing structures and to the curriculum” will support the plans.

Crucially, safeguarding was deemed to be effective, with the assessment stating that staff “know how to identify any signs that pupils are at risk.”

Headteacher Anthony Walker invited parents into the school after many had expressed concerns about the changes via social media.  Picture: Nick ButcherHeadteacher Anthony Walker invited parents into the school after many had expressed concerns about the changes via social media. Picture: Nick Butcher

However, it was noted that, due to inaccurate assessment of pupils’ performance in 2017 and an overly optimistic process for judging teaching standards, the “quality of teaching across the school is currently still too inconsistent.”

In reaction to the findings, Mr Walker said: “On a number of things we are very pleased with the feedback.

“Our safeguarding is effective which is obviously great as want our students to feel safe. There’s recognition that we’ve taken steps to improve the quality of teaching, student behaviour and our curriculum.

“What’s more, Ofsted also agreed with us on our own self-evaluation; we know our own strengths and weaknesses and what we need to address.”

Toilet doors were removed at Pakefield High School after a series of incidents involving graffiti. Picture: Nick ButcherToilet doors were removed at Pakefield High School after a series of incidents involving graffiti. Picture: Nick Butcher

Appointed in September 2016, Mr Walker has been working to imprint his own stamp on the school, including with the introduction of the ‘Proud to be Pakefield’ campaign where student achievement is celebrated more proactively.

Although GCSE results dipped in 2017, Department for Education figures show 96% of departing students went into employment, training or further education and stayed there - above the national average.

“We’re always looking to improve, to go on to bigger and better things,” added Mr Walker.

“We haven’t always been great with responding to parental enquiries, but we’re promising to respond within an acceptable time. The little things parents tell us are very important; we not only want them to ask questions, but give ideas.”

Pakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker.
Picture: Nick ButcherPakefield High School headteacher Anthony Walker. Picture: Nick Butcher

With Ofsted having identified priorities for improvement, Pakefield High School’s next report will come after a full section 5 inspection.

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