It has been an outstanding year for our school. This was verified externally with an Ofsted inspection in February that acknowledged our outstanding provision. It was particularly pleasing to receive this judgement for the quality of Teaching and Learning – the raison d’etre of any school. These judgements were manifest in our best ever GCSE results in the summer.
The school’s success however, has perplexed some people. I’ve had some unusual responses from, “What are you going to do now?” to “When are you leaving?”
The first response fails to recognise the team behind the achievement and the second assumes there is nothing left to be done. In considering these questions it occurred to me that we sometimes feel as vulnerable after success as we do when we know we could have done better. Perhaps this is a peculiarly British phenomenon? As a nation we seem to prefer charming understatement and are cast more happily as underdog.
On a personal level, I began considering what the school needed to do next the day after Ofsted left. For there will always be more to do; schools must continue to respond positively and decisively to changes in society and government policy. Education will continue to be an area of intense Government and media scrutiny. We will never arrive and should always be trimming the sails.
Modest and British is fine but increasingly comfortable with success? Let’s hope so. Our new development plan is simple but focused. We believe we can be even better. At the heart of all our targets are the Learning Relationships that we enjoy daily and it is important to our sense of collective well-being that we acknowledge and enjoy our successes.
A new approach to school development planning