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Friday, 03 May 2013 09:55

St John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School: Good OFSTED news at last

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Three weeks ago I wrote an article about the OFSTED failures of two Catholic schools, and  appended a comment about problems with admission numbers at St John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School in Chatham. However, it looks as if those who have stuck with the school are on a winner, as OFSTED has Reported that the school as having a GOOD standard of education, up from the previous 'Satisfactory' two years ago. St John Fisher is supported by St Paul's Academy in Greenwich, whose Principal spends one and a half days weekly at St John Fisher. Strong leadership is clearly a major factor in the turn-around, OFSTED recording: "The headteacher and the leadership team are passionate about driving up standards at the school.......

They work hard to bring about rapid and sustainable improvements that benefit students. They have high expectations of themselves and others and lead by example. The governing body provides impressive levels of support and challenge to leaders. Together with the Principal of St Paul’s Academy, it has supported the school’s leadership team to make significant improvements since the last inspection".  The Report continues: "All groups of students, including disabled students and those with special educational needs, those who speak English as an additional language and those who are eligible for the pupil premium (additional government funding), make good progress; Systems for supporting students who need more help are of a high quality; Students increasingly make good progress from low starting points. Their GCSE results at the end of Year 11 have improved every year since 2010. The gap between the school’s examination results and those of all other schools is closing rapidly; The sixth form is good. Students achieve good results in a variety of subjects. More students are choosing to stay at the school to study in the sixth form; Most teaching and learning are good and improving rapidly across the school; Teachers have benefited from a planned programme of support, professional feedback and training opportunities; Behaviour in and out of lessons is good. Students attend regularly - They are proud of their own achievements and appreciate the improvements that have been made". The school has been unpopular with quite a poor reputation for quite a few years. It looks at last as if it has turned the corner, and the 35 children who have been allocated to the school by Medway Council, appear to have no academic fears now, although some are understandably still unhappy with the strong Catholic ethos of St John Fisher. 


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