Teachers and governors at Melksham Oak Community School are celebrating its highest ever Ofsted grade. The school has been rated Good by inspectors, who found significant improvements across the board when they visited last month. It opened in 2010, to replace the George Ward Technology College, which had been graded as inadequate. The new report praises the standard of teaching and highlights the strong partnerships between staff, students and teachers. Inspectors observed 44 teachers over two days and held meetings with students, governors and staff. An online parent questionnaire was analysed, along with the attendance and behaviour figures. The inspection found standards in all subjects had improved, especially in maths and English. Disabled students and those with special educational needs were also found to be well served.
The pupils were said to be friendly and polite, with overall behaviour good. The report declared the school had created a “strong climate of inclusion, trust and support”. The few instances of bullying were said to be dealt with swiftly. The report also praised the headteacher and senior management team for providing strong and decisive leadership, well supported by the local authority. The inspection was the school’s first, but follows the George Ward College’s inspection in February 2010. Ofsted introduced a stricter inspection framework in September, which makes it harder for schools to get the highest standards. Melksham Oak headteacher Stephen Clark said: “I am especially pleased, as this judgement was made on the new, more rigorous Ofsted framework. “We remain determined to continue our journey to be a great school and are delighted that Ofsted have recognised our progress.” The report was warmly welcomed by chairman of governors Ruth Gillings, who said: “The report is absolutely awesome. They have done so well and worked so hard. Everybody at the school – the teachers, the backroom staff, the parents and the kids – have been absolutely superb.”
Mrs Gillings also praised the reaction to the changes.
“The whole attitude has changed since they have been in this new school. They love this school and want to work hard because the atmosphere is so good,” she said.