That’s good! Hamstel in turnaround: Ofsted rate school as 'good'

Celebrating – Hamstel head Rupert Snow, foreground, pupils, staff and councillor James Courtenay

Celebrating – Hamstel head Rupert Snow, foreground, pupils, staff and councillor James Courtenay

First published in News by

A SCHOOL criticised as “inadequate’’ in 2011 has bounced back to be rated as a “good’’.

Even in 2012, Hamstel Junior School, in Hamstel Road, Southend, was rated only as satisfactory, the second worst level.

In its latest report, watchdog Ofsted said it was particularly impressed with support for disabled and special needs pupils, how well pupils behaved in lessons and how staff knew what further improvements were needed.

Rupert Snow, who became headteacher in April, said recent years had been turbulent, but now the school could focus on getting the top, “outstanding” grade.

Mr Snow said: “It is extraordinary that a school like us has gone from needing serious improvement to good in the amount of time it has.

“Praise must be given to all the teachers, teaching assistants, our pastoral team and inclusion officer Emily Taylor, who have been extremely successful.

“The key thing has been the people at the top knowing what a good or outstanding school looks and feels like and then having the energy and drive to ensure we reach that level. I also want to thank our deputy heads, Karen Hall and Nathan Linfield, and a previous headteacher, Angela Savill, as I was delighted when I joined to find this was not a school adrift and floating in some quagmire, as they had started setting up improvements.”

The news came after Oftsed upgraded another school, Westborough Academy, in Westcliff, from “satisfactory’’ to “good’’.

James Courtenay, Southend councillor responsible for children and learning, said: “Hamstel has shown sustained improvements in recent years and that is a testament to the school and the hard work put in by staff and management to complete the journey.

“Our position in Southend is that we have pretty decent schools and what I really want to see is rapid improvements made where they are needed.

“Every year it takes to get improvements made is another year of pupils who will leave primary school without having been at a good school, and that cannot be allowed.”

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