For the first time in the history of St Dunstan’s School, Ofsted inspectors have graded the school ‘good’ in all categories.
In a glowing report, inspectors said ‘The headteacher, trust and senior leaders have transformed St Dunstan’s; it provides a good quality of education and students are safe.’ They are ‘highly ambitious for the school, each pupil and the community.’
This exceptionally positive report comes two years after the school was put into Special Measures and represents a jump of two grades at once – skipping ‘Requires Improvement’ to a strong Good grading. This rapid improvement has been made possible by high level of investment in resources, buildings and expertise following St Dunstan’s School joining the Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership in June 2016.
‘Respect by all members of the school community lies at the heart of St Dunstan’s School.’
St Dunstan’s School has a culture where ‘staff encourage pupils to show respect and care for one another.’ The schools ‘inclusive nature’ has ‘successfully tackled the areas for improvement that were identified in the previous inspection.’ ‘The culture of safeguarding at St Dunstan’s is strong,’ and ‘pupils report they feel safe and their parents agree.’
‘Leaders’ expectations of staff and pupils are high’.
Inspectors noted that ‘Teachers’ expectations of the quality of pupils work are high,’ and ‘pupils rise to the high expectations that leaders have of them’. ‘Pupils are very articulate in discussing their learning’ and ‘they are very clear about what they need to improve and are keen to do so’.
‘Teachers’ first priority is to help pupils to think about their learning’
Inspectors were particularly complimentary about the quality of Teaching and Learning. ‘Teachers use accurate assessment of pupils’ progress to plan learning and identify where pupils need further teaching or support’. This means that ‘pupils make strong progress’ and they ‘benefit from learning that is planned to meet their needs.’
‘In 2017, every year 11 pupil secured a place in further education, apprenticeships or employment with training.’
Students at St Dunstan’s are supported to ‘make informed choices about their courses they follow in key stage 4 and potential future careers. The proportion of students who continue on to further education or training has risen sharply.’
‘Pupils’ safety and welfare are at the forefront of the school’s work’
Inspectors found that ‘expectations about respectful behaviour are very high,’ and ‘pupils report that there is a ‘zero tolerance’ to bullying.’ ‘Pupils are rightly confident that when they report any concerns that they have, staff will act on them.’
Ofsted were also full of praise for the Trustees and Governors whose work has ‘been instrumental in transforming the school’. They ‘are highly committed, challenge rigorously and hold leaders fully to account.’ They ‘know the school well’ and have invested heavily allowing the rapid improvement this report clearly shows.
Headteacher Keith Howard took up his post in September 2016 and has overseen the rapid improvements at the school following the Ofsted in April of that year. Ofsted noted that he ‘is resolutely clear about the rights of each child in the community to benefit from the school’s work and the care it provides’.
He said ‘I am delighted that Ofsted have recognised the hard work and significant progress the school has made over the last two years. I would like to thank all the staff, students and parents for their support, passion and hard work in bringing about this transformation and making St Dunstan’s a school that Glastonbury can be proud of which provides high quality education in a caring small school setting. This report represents a milestone in our journey towards excellence in every aspect of St Dunstan’s providing the very best education for Glastonbury and the surrounding areas.’
Alun Williams CEO of the Trust, said: 'I am delighted with the 'good' Ofsted judgment at St Dunstan's. I always knew the school would be graded ‘good’ once there was good leadership in place. Keith and all of the staff at the school have achieved something really quite amazing and have given Glastonbury a school it can be proud of. Parents and children at St Dunstan's are an absolute delight to work with and deserve the best. Thank you to all those who have supported us on this journey.'
To see for yourself what’s new at St Dunstan’s, their open day is on 26th September. The school is open for tours in the morning and the evening starts at 6.30pm.