Poor Ofsted report to blame for drop in pupil numbers at Acland Burghley School

New Acland Burghley headteacher Nicholas John

New Acland Burghley headteacher Nicholas John - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A secondary school has lost the equivalent of a classroom of children after receiving a poor rating from education watchdog Ofsted.

Acland Burghley School in Tufnell Park was judged as ‘requires improvement’ by inspectors in 2013, prompting former headteacher Jo Armitage to resign.

Since then, its pupil intake has dropped dramatically, with 35 fewer children taking up places at the Burghley Road school.

A Camden Council report discussed at a children, schools and families scrutiny committee on Wednesday stated: “The fall in numbers at Acland Burghley is entirely due to the fact that in September 2013, the school was judged to require improvement by Ofsted.”

In 2014, 167 children entered Year 7 compared with only 132 this year – the first year that the Ofsted report could influence parents’ choice of school for their child.


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Acland Burghley’s new headteacher Nicholas John said that the school is now on track to return to its former status as a ‘good’ school.

Mr John, who helped his previous school in Tower Hamlets improve from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’, said: “The Ofsted in 2013 was critical and parents will have responded to it but we are hoping that the community will recognise the improvements that have been made and come to us on our open days.

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“Then they will see a strong, confident school with new leadership.”

Last year Ofsted said the school had “transformed” under the interim headship of Parliament School headteacher Sue Higgins since its 2013 inspection.

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