School celebrates 'good' Ofsted rating for first time in 63-year history

Barnwell School is celebrating receiving its first ever 'good' Ofsted rating

Barnwell School is celebrating receiving its first ever 'good' Ofsted rating - Credit: Barnwell School

Students and staff at Barnwell School in Stevenage are celebrating the school's first ever 'good' Ofsted rating, after what they describe as "many years of disappointment and frustration".

Ofsted inspectors visited the school in November last year and awarded good judgements in all areas - including overall effectiveness, quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and Sixth Form provision.

Inspectors reported that pupils say they enjoy school, and that they feel well-supported by staff.

The report also said that Year 11s felt student mental health was dealt with well, and that "students say they have a trusted adult at school and that any issues are dealt with quickly".

Headteacher Tony Fitzpatrick said: "Everyone has worked so hard for this outcome. I am truly thrilled that the Barnwell community have the recognition that we are a good school.

"This is certainly the proudest moment of my teaching career to be part of such an amazing school.

"We all have one aim of making sure that we provide the best education for all of our students, I am so pleased that the inspectors recognised what a warm and caring community we are."

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One parent remarked on how long the school had waited for this judgement, saying: "I have had faith in Barnwell for the last 10 years while having two children attend the school. I believed you should have had the result years back.

"However, you have it now and you all absolutely deserve it. Huge congratulations to everyone in Barnwell!"

Chair of governors Jo Lawson said: "The governing body would like to congratulate all the staff, under the leadership of Mr Fitzpatrick, on this incredible achievement.

"We would also like to thank all parents, carers and the wider Barnwell community for their continued support."

The school had previously been given a 'requires improvement' rating, and in the report inspectors outlined what Barnwell would need to do to move up to 'outstanding'.

Recommendations included improving studying habits for Years 9 to 11, encouraging reading for pleasure and ensuring pupils make use of opportunities to nurture and develop their talents and interests.