Carleton High School celebrate a perfect 10 with highest Ofsted rating

Just two years ago Carleton High School was placed into special measures. But now, and for the the first time in a decade, the school has been rated Good.
Just two years ago Carleton High School was placed into special measures. But now, and for the the first time in a decade, the school has been rated Good.

Staff and pupils at Carleton High School are celebrating after being rated good by Ofsted in their latest inspection.

In 2017, under its previous leadership, the school had been put into special measures.

Prior to that, the previous two Ofsted inspections resulted in “requires improvement” judgements.

Part of the Pontefract Academies Trust, the 11-16 school now has its highest rating for ten years.

The new leadership at trust and school level have taken the school out of special measures and to a good rating in a twelve-month period which is a remarkable achievement.

Inspectors spent two days in the school on July 4 and 5, observing lessons, talking with staff and pupils and seeking the viewpoints of parents.

Jo Cross Head of School, said, the Ofsted report reflected the “energy, commitment and hard work” of everyone in the school community.

She said: “The staff at our school have worked so hard and we are delighted that Ofsted recognise that this is a transformed school.

“I am incredibly proud of our achievements over the last twelve months in what is a real team effort.

“I would like to thank all staff, children, the trust, parents, governors and leaders.

“This is the first time in ten years that this judgement has been awarded so it is an achievement to be proud of.

“We receive outstanding support and direction from the trust on a daily basis and we now have the platform for even bigger and better things”.

Phi Smith HMI, the lead inspector wrote: “Leaders have significantly improved the school since the previous inspection.

“Accountability for improving pupil achievement is a golden thread that runs through the work of the school”.

Pontefract Academies Trust, which also operates The King’s School, as well as six primary academies, was heavily praised, with the report saying the trust has been instrumental in driving improvements at a “dizzying pace” with “sensible decisions made to improve the school leadership, behaviour and teaching”.

The Ofsted report describes “behaviour as a real strength of the school” and says there has been a “step change in the way pupils behave” and that the school “pervades an air of calm and orderliness”.

In addition, the work that the school has done to tackle weak legacy performance was highlighted by the inspection team, with “disadvantaged, lower attaining pupils and those with special educational needs and disabilities now making better progress”.

Jo Cross Head of School added: “It was great to see that Ofsted recognise the amount of work we have done in developing our staff.

“We work very closely on staff training with The King’s School, the other secondary in the trust”.

The report reads: “Teachers are full of praise for the training that is helping them improve their teaching” and “the trust and the school have made very sensible decisions to align their curriculum with that of the other secondary school within the trust.

“This ensures that teachers’ expertise can be pooled.”

Julian Appleyard the CEO of Pontefract Academies Trust, said he was delighted with the outcome of the recent Ofsted visit.

Mr Appleyard said: “The judgement validates all the hard work over the last twelve months.

“The school and the trust have delivered rapid improvement during this period and the popularity of the school is improving at a fantastic rate.”

Carleton High School is a member of the Pontefract Academies Trust, a multi academy trust educating around 3,500 young people in Pontefract.