outstandinglogo2.jpgThe governors and staff were delighted to receive a glowing report from OfSTED (the government agency responsible for school inspections) after the latest inspection of the school in March 2009. The school was described as outstanding, a description that in 2008-09 was only given to 19% of all schools in the nation.

The overall grade for the effectiveness of the school was 1.

Ofsted grades for schools' work are

  1. = Outstanding,
  2. = Good,
  3. = Satisfactory,
  4. = Inadequate

You can download a PDF copy of the report from the OfSTED website. Also a downloadable PDF copy of the report and the letter to pupils can be found in our Downloads page in the section called Inspection Reports.

Mr P. Philip, Chair of the Governing Body, said

"This is fantastic news for the school. It is a reflection of the real commitment of all the staff and the work they do encouraging the pupils to reach their full potential."

Mr A. Perrett, Headteacher, said

"I am very proud of the school and I am very pleased that the report recognises the hard work and the fantastic attitude of the staff and pupils, supported by parents and governors. This is a superb achievement."

The OfSTED inspection team’s report says about Highams Park school:

microgirl_edited-1.jpg"This is an outstanding school with a good sixth form. Throughout the school, students' personal development is exceptionally high. In Years 7 to 11, students' academic progress is excellent. This is because teaching is good, students have impressive attitudes to work and learning, and the curriculum is outstanding. Moreover, the school's meticulous checking of each student's effort and attainment is highly effective in ensuring that progress is fast whatever the students' starting point. Students' achievement in the sixth form is good.

Outstanding leadership and management underpin the school's successes. As a result of extremely rigorous processes for keeping the school's work under review, and improving it, standards have risen. GCSE results have also risen. In 2008, from broadly average starting points in Year 7, nearly eight in ten students achieved five or more GCSE grades A* to C, and nearly seven in ten gained these GCSEs including English and mathematics. This is well above average. The school has strengths in the core subjects of English, mathematics and science and also elsewhere, most notably in design and technology. Students also speak highly of the work in physical education and performing arts. The school's status as a specialist technology and sports college has undoubtedly had a positive impact on educational outcomes.

Staff set consistently high expectations of students' work and behaviour. They contribute greatly to students' excellent spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through thought-provoking assemblies, and high-quality personal care and guidance. Relationships are strong and supportive. Students say that incidents of less than satisfactory behaviour occur only very occasionally and are fairly dealt with.

The school has improved well since the last inspection. Not only have standards risen but leadership and management have been strengthened at all levels, particularly in checking on the quality of provision and improving it. The curriculum has been developed and this work continues. Governors are very well informed, are challenging as well as highly supportive, and play a vital part in ensuring that the school functions successfully and within budget. The school provides excellent value for money.”

The letter written by the lead inspector to the pupils is shown below.

17 March 2009

Dear Students

Inspection of Highams Park School, London, E4 9PJ

Thank you for your welcome when two inspectors visited your school recently. We greatly valued the conversations we had with some of you. I write to tell you about our findings and encourage you to read the full inspection report when it appears shortly on the Ofsted website: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/.

Highams Park School is outstanding. It enables you to achieve extremely well both in your academic work and in your personal development. The academic standards reached are well above average by Year 11, with strengths in the core subjects of English, mathematics and science, and also in design technology. You are confident, courteous and respectful young people, very well prepared for your future lives, and already contributing much to your school and wider community. Your attendance is well above average overall. The school is successful in helping you recognise your own skills and talents, and encourages you to develop them further. The headteacher and staff keep a very close check on your progress and provide you with an excellent curriculum, not just in terms of what you receive in lessons but also through an extensive range of extra-curricular activities. The sixth form is good and enables students to achieve well.

Your lessons are good overall. Some teachers are particularly skilful in setting tasks and posing questions that encourage you all to think deeply and develop your understanding of topics being learned. We have asked the school to increase the proportion of good and outstanding lessons, making clear to teachers exactly what elements of teaching and learning need to be improved and where.

The school is extremely well led and managed. It is constantly being developed because staff are enthusiastic and encouraged to be innovative. We urge you to let staff know if the work set is ever too hard or too easy so that teachers can give you the right support and challenge. We saw the building work in progress and heard how keen you and the staff are to make use of the new facilities, for sport and other areas of work.

I wish you all the very best for your time at this school and in the future

Yours faithfully

Wiola Hola

Her Majesty's Inspector

The school was inspected by the government agency responsible for school inspections, OfSTED, on Wednesday 4th March 2009.

The school received a Reduced tariff inspection(RTI). This is a short, sharply focused inspection for a percentage of specifically identified schools using information from the PANDA (or its replacement, RAISEonline), the school's last report, and local knowledge. The inspection uses the standard framework and a report will be published in the usual way but the inspection involved fewer inspector days.



The full latest reports for the school can be found on the OfSTED website or by clicking here The March 2009 inspection report was published on the OfSTED website on March 24th 2009. Click here for the list of Outstanding Providers in Waltham Forest .

You can download a PDF copy of the report from the OfSTED website. Also a downloadable PDF copy of the report and the letter to pupils can be found in our Downloads menu in the section called "School Prospectus and Inspection Reports" 

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Highams Park Academy Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with registered number 07738801
[and VAT registered number 119-0793-09] and whose registered office is at Highams Park School Handsworth Avenue, Highams Park, London, E4 9PJ.
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