Stevenage secondary school’s transformation is ‘best practice’ model in Parlimentary Review

Headteacher Bethany Honnor with Marriotts School pupils.

Headteacher Bethany Honnor with Marriotts School pupils. - Credit: Archant

A secondary school which had been deemed to be failing has been transformed into a facility rated good by Ofsted – and is now being used by the government as an example of best practice in this year’s Parlimentary Review.

When Stevenage’s Marriotts School was placed in special measures in 2012, it had been considered a failing school for a number of years.

Underachievement extended across most subjects, its reputation in the community was poor, and entry had fallen to around 70 students per year.

Marriotts moved into a brand new building in January 2013 and Bethany Honnor was appointed headteacher in September 2013. Despite the challenges of a £1 million budget deficit, Ms Honnor and her team set about transforming the school into one that is now oversubscribed and has a good reputation.

The school now has an Ofsted rating of good, with outstanding leadership and pastoral care.

The school’s transformation is documented as an example of best practice in the Parlimentary Review 2018.

Chaired by former Conservative Communities Secretary Sir Eric Pickles and former Labour Home Secretary Lord Blunkett, the Parliamentary Review is a series of independent publications which aim to share best practice among policy makers and business leaders.

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Each of its editions focuses on a key governmental policy area, with a variety of organisations sharing personal insight alongside Cabinet ministers, government agencies, associations and trade bodies.

The Parliamentary Review provides a comprehensive summary of the past year and a template for the year to come.

Ms Honnor said: “Marriotts’ journey over the last five years since moving into our new building has been a significant achievement and testament to the hard work and commitment of the whole school community.

“It’s amazing that our journey has been recognised and we have been given the opportunity to share, in this prestigious publication, how we have achieved our successes.”

Craig Wilmann, the director of the Parliamentary Review, said: “Following one of the most unpredictable and challenging years in British politics, the review, now more than ever, is essential reading for both politicians and organisations up and down the country.”

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