North East school taken out of ‘special measures’

Year 8 pupils at Seaham School of Technology celebrating the news that the school has been judged out of special measures by Ofsted inspectors.
Year 8 pupils at Seaham School of Technology celebrating the news that the school has been judged out of special measures by Ofsted inspectors.
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STUDENTS and staff are celebrating after a school has transformed its fortunes and been taken out of special measures.

Seaham School of Technology has also won praise, not only from Government inspectors who have revisited the school, but parents and the community.

It was was put into special measures after an inspection in October 2009, which concluded the establishment was not giving its students “an acceptable standard of education”.

The move led to Ofsted giving the school extra support, further funding and resources and frequent reappraisals.

Just 18 months later, Seaham School has been rated as satisfactory and its capacity for sustained improvement described as “good”.

Headteacher David Shield said: “I’m delighted with the outcomes from our recent inspection.

“It is a celebration of all the hard work from staff, students and governors.

“I look forward to the school going from strength to strength and to seeing high levels of success for the young people of Seaham.”

Under the inspection, 32 classes and 27 teachers were observed, meetings held with the governing body, staff and Durham County Council.

Mums and dads were asked for their views and feedback from a survey of pupils, parents and carers was analysed.

Exam results from last summer showed the proportion of students gaining five GCSE grades of C and above, including English and mathematics, increased from 28 per cent in 2009 to 54 per cent.

In the same period, pupils gaining two GCSE grade Cs and above in science increased from 35 to 81 per cent.

The school, which has 916 students, has been a technology college since 2009 and holds various awards including Healthy School status and Sportsmark, which recognises a school’s out-of-hours sports provision.

Dave Ford, head of achievement services at the council, said: “We’ve worked extremely closely with the school and I’m continually impressed with the determination of the headteacher and his leadership team as well as the many staff and pupils who are, without doubt, behind this tremendous result.

“I’m particularly pleased to see the inspectors pay tribute to the improvement in teaching standards, and the very positive impact that has had on the commitment of pupils to achieve.

“The important role of the strengthened Governing body has also been rightly recognised, as well as the value of the partnership with the Local Authority.

“I feel sure we are all on course to go from strength to strength together.”