Ellis Guilford staff and pupils celebrate ‘Good’ Ofsted

Strong leadership has been praised for turning around Ellis Guilford School and Sports College which had serious weaknesses two years ago.

Standards of teaching, behaviour, achievement and attendance are now all rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

Inspectors said the Head Teacher and governors at the secondary school in Bar Lane, Basford, had overseen huge changes. The latest inspection praised pupils for a ‘significant improvement’ in behaviour; they were also reported as being courteous, polite and friendly – and making ‘good progress’ in English and maths.

The school slipped to ‘Inadequate’ after an Ofsted inspection in 2013, before it was re-assessed last month and given the improved ‘Good’ rating.

The report found:

  • Leaders are tackling the legacy of previous underachievement. Students are making good progress in a wide range of subjects.
  • Teachers assess students’ progress regularly and accurately. They use a range of approaches to identify gaps in knowledge and understanding.
  • Behaviour is good and students feel safe. The vast majority of students are courteous and polite. They express consideration and friendliness.
  • Governors, staff, parents and students report significant improvement in students’ behaviour and attitudes to learning. Notably, there has been a rapid decline in exclusions and absence.
  • Leaders rigorously check the quality of teaching, behaviour and safety, and students’ progress. Effective actions have improved the quality of teaching, behaviour and progress.

Inspectors said the school helped and supported students who were falling behind and worked with disadvantaged students, disabled students and those who have special educational needs to support and help them make good progress.

The report found students’ attitudes to learning changed significantly, which was highlighted in a rapid fall in exclusions and absence.

Inspectors also said the City Council’s work to improve the quality of teaching and learning, and the effectiveness of leadership and management was effective and led to higher achievement for pupils.

The report stated: “The head teacher leads the school well. She receives good support from senior leaders, governors and staff, who all contribute to creating a culture of learning and higher expectation in the school. Effective behaviour management has led to a sharp decline in exclusions. Students’ attitudes to learning are improving.

Dr Sally Coulton, Head Teacher at Ellis Guilford School, said: “We are proud of our Ofsted report and will continue to go from strength to strength to help give pupils the best possible education.

“The grading reflects the hard work, dedication and ambition from pupils, staff, governors and parents. No matter what a child’s background, ability or culture, children do well in our school.”

Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Schools, said “Ellis Guilford was one of seven schools in Nottingham identified by Ofsted as needing improvement back in 2013. The school has more than risen to this challenge. This report is testament to the very hard work that has been put in by teachers and staff. Students are rightly proud to attend Ellis Guildford, and we are delighted to see that the support they receive has been recognised by Ofsted.

“They are ensuring that its young people are given the right opportunities to succeed on the paths they choose. Every child in Nottingham deserves to go to a good school, close to home.  All our efforts as a Council, working with schools are focussed on this goal. We will continue to support them as it continues on its journey to outstanding.”

Ofsted East Midlands Director Chris Russell said: “Eighteen months ago Ofsted inspected a large number of schools in Nottingham because we were concerned about standards in the city. We judged seven of those schools to be inadequate.

“Since then we have been monitoring progress and working with these schools and the local authority. I am really pleased that inspection has acted as a catalyst for improvement. This is the first of the seven schools to be re-inspected and is now a good school. Such a turnaround doesn’t happen without strong leadership and I was very pleased to visit the school today to say congratulations and well done to Sally and her staff.”

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