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Frank Barnes School rides wave of transition and bags another ‘outstanding’ Ofsted

PUBLISHED: 12:49 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:50 31 May 2017

Frank Barnes School students.

Frank Barnes School students.

Archant

A Camden school for deaf children has been rated “outstanding” by Ofsted once again, despite moving to a new site and losing a long-serving headteacher in the space of a year.

Frank Barnes pupils with teacher Rachel Gillingham in their new school Frank Barnes pupils with teacher Rachel Gillingham in their new school

After Karen Simpson – headteacher for 18 years – left Frank Barnes School last summer, acting head Dani Sive was tasked with carrying on the success of a bilingual primary school which had secured three “Outstanding” Ofsted reports in a row.

On top of this, the school was still bedding in after its move to The Plimsoll Building in September 2015, which has seen them sharing the premises with Kings Cross Academy.

Inspectors – who visited the King’s Cross school in March – found that the Mr Sive had “built a supportive and effective team of new leaders”and ensured that the school “continues to improve”.

Students were praised for their “confidence” and “pride in what they achieve”, based on inspectors’ observations during lessons.

Cbeebies Magic Hands presenter Ashley Kendall with children from Frank Barnes School where he was filming for a Shakespeare anniversary special, they are using the BSL sign for Shakespeare. Cbeebies Magic Hands presenter Ashley Kendall with children from Frank Barnes School where he was filming for a Shakespeare anniversary special, they are using the BSL sign for Shakespeare.

The school was found to offer “excellent support” to Camden families with children who have special educational needs and disabilities.

The report also noted that numeracy skills – the single area marked out for improvement during inspectors’ last visit in 2012 – had been “fully addressed”.

Mr Sive, who will be appointed permanent headteacher of the Wollstonecraft Street school in September, said: “I am very pleased and proud that we have achieved this result at a time of a much tougher Ofsted framework.

“The staff, pupils, parents and governors have given so much support during the transition to an interim school leadership structure for which I am very grateful.

“It is no surprise that our commitment and dedication to bilingual practice in deaf education is a reason that our pupils achieve so well, academically, linguistically, socially and emotionally.”

Inspectors also praised the “aspirational” governing body for their support to the school’s leadership team “during the time of significant change”.

Chair of governors Jeremy Johnson added: “I am delighted that Ofsted has, once again, recognised Frank Barnes as an outstanding school with an exceptional leadership team that provides the very best education for deaf children.

“The whole governing body congratulates the school’s staff on this well-deserved achievement. We are immensely proud of our confident, happy and fulfilled children.”

To view the report visit fbarnes.camden.sch.uk.

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