Ofsted endorsed a second Outstanding judgement when it returned to The Duston School two weeks ago. The first Outstanding rating was given back in November 2013 which is a remarkable achievement as the school had been in Special Measures in 2005 and labelled ‘the longest failed secondary school in the UK’ when Jane Herriman took over as the Principal.
Inspectors cited “a talented Senior Leadership Team” and a “highly effective Chair of the Governing Body” who are committed and ambitious to ensure that the school provides a high-quality education for all pupils within the community. The school was described as now “flying with wings” since becoming its own trust, The Duston Education Trust (TDET), after a lengthy process to move from the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET).
Leaders are described as responding “rapidly, radically and effectively” to issues in the school resulting in “dramatic reduction in exclusions” and in making significant improvements in pupil attendance. “Leaders are determined that pupils will attend school and achieve well.”
“High quality-information is used to identify the ‘skills gap’ that teachers need to address in order that pupils make progress. The school effectively links learning to each pupil’s starting point.”
Pupils, notably Year 11s, appreciated the great support they received from school. Pupils said that they felt safe and “appreciated the enormous effort made by their teachers to provide advice, support and help.”
Jane Herriman, Executive Principal added: “We are so delighted that Ofsted have noted that the school has taken effective action to maintain the high standards since our previous inspection. We now have two successive Outstanding Ofsteds for TDS (2013 and 2016). We know that we still have a lot of work to do and I know that we are intent on sustaining and improving on our very high expectations and standards. The young people and staff here should be thanked for their continued support and hard work as we strive to give the young people here the very best education that we can.”
Ros Clayton, Chair of Duston’s new Trust commented: “Ofsted have again judged The Duston School to be Outstanding. However, we are not complacent and all staff and governors aim to go on improving, because only the very best will do for our pupils.”
The full report can be found by clicking here