Another bad Ofsted report for Camden’s Acland Burghley School

Acland Burghley headteacher Nicholas John

Acland Burghley headteacher Nicholas John - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A Camden school has received another damning Ofsted report - more than two years after being slammed by the education watchdog for poor pupil behaviour, low grades and scruffy teachers.

Acland Burghley School, in Burghley Road, Tufnell Park, has been criticised despite a string of measures and staff changes introduced since 2013.

It has been given the second lowest Ofsted rating as “requiring improvement” again and been criticised for poor English and Maths results and bad pupil behaviour.

Current headteacher Nicholas John took over in September 2015, with the aim to raise the school back to its “good status”.

However he admitted today: “There are no quick fixes. We can’t just press a reset button. I have a very clear idea of what needs doing. We are doing it for the longterm at the grass roots in a sustainable way. The parents and school community are very supportive.”

The inspectors, who visited the school from February 9 - 10, said improvements were needed in the effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching and pupil behaviour and welfare.

The report said: “Not enough pupils are making good progress across a wide range of subjects”, with too many underachieving in GCSE English and Maths.

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It said: “The behaviour of pupils requires improvement...Pupils attitudes to learning are not always strong enough in lessons. Not all teachers implement the school’s behaviour expectations.”

The report also pointed out that gaps in achievement between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates were too large.

But the inspection did highlight other strengths with particular praise for Mr John.

The report said: “The leadership of the new headteacher is a key strength. He is ably supported by a new and effective senior team.

“The school’s leadership is successfully changing the culture of the school. Teaching and standards are improving, especially in English.”

Mr John, who inspectors said “knows exactly what needs doing” said yesterday: “The report is really helpful and instructive and I welcome it. We are very positive about the school’s future and know what needs to be done.”

As reported in the Ham&High, when the school’s status was lowered from “good” to “requires improvement” in 2013, former headteacher Jo Armitage stepped down.

Her replacement Paul Guenault then resigned just days after his appointment prompting Parliament Hill headteacher Sue Higgins to step in as an interim head.

In November 2014 Ofsted said aspects of the school, such as pupils behaviour, had “transformed” under her leadership.

A Camden council spokesman said of the latest report: “Ofsted agrees with the school’s own judgement that it still ‘requires improvement’ overall and standards would need to improve further for the school to achieve a ‘good’ rating.”

He said in an online questionnaire for the report, all parents “agree that they would recommend this school to others” and were “strongly supportive of the school.”

For more details on the Ofsted report see next Thursday’s Ham&High