A SECONDARY school has turned the tide and has now been rated “good” by an education watchdog, two years after plummeting to “inadequate.”

Bosses at the King John School in Benfleet took “swift action” following the damning Ofsted report in 2019, which saw the school drop from “outstanding” to the lowest possible rating.

The school is now well led and managed, according to the new report.

Inspectors stated students are happy about the school, and regularly attend, while staff have been praised for “shutting down nonsense” in the classroom, allowing children to learn effectively.


Inspectors raised serious safeguarding issues in 2019, with concerns also raised that pupils had a very limited understanding of the risks attached to county lines, drug dealing and gangs.

Dan Steel, headteacher, said: “I am delighted to see that Ofsted recognised the hard work and dedication of our students and staff, including the ongoing support from our parents.

“The school is indeed a happy place and, as inspectors observed and noted in their report, our students are positive about King John and attend regularly.

“We know as a school we are clear on our priorities for the next step on our journey.”

The school wrote home to parents on Friday, thanking them for their patience “over the years.”

It reads: “You trusted us to ensure that The King John School improved, and we hope that you will share a sense of pride in what has been achieved.

“Many of you have told us how much you have seen the school improve. However, there is still lots more we want to do to improve further.”

The Ofsted report found that behaviour around the school is “calm and orderly”, with pupils acting as so-called bully busters to stamp out poor behaviour.

Andy Hodgkinson, CEO of the Zenith Academy Trust, which runs the school, added: “This outcome is really good news for our students, the school and the wider community.

“I am very excited to see how King John continues to progress under Dan Steel’s dynamic leadership.”