Sunderland’s first free school is back on track

good news: Grindon Hall Christian School has received some good news from Ofsted inspectors.

good news: Grindon Hall Christian School has received some good news from Ofsted inspectors.

7
Have your say

THE city’s first free school is on the up after a shock Ofsted report.

Parents and staff at Grindon Hall Christian School were stunned in May when watchdogs rated it as needing improvement overall.

Although the inspectors said the achievement, teaching and behaviour at the Pennywell school was good, it needed improvement because of weaknesses in monitoring and collecting data.

However, after a recent follow-up visit to the school, inspectors said: “A review of long-established ways of working has been undertaken quickly and, as a result, you are beginning to strengthen some of the fundamental systems and processes relating to teaching and leadership.

“Most significantly, you now acknowledge that the effectiveness of the school is not solely about the finished product by the age of 16, but about how well prepared all students are for their next stage of education.”

Headteacher Chris Gray said: “When we converted to free school status it is fair to say that the required culture change was greater than we anticipated. The increased levels of accountability and scrutiny are good things – we are, after all, receiving public money. We were simply not used to the need to provide evidence for virtually everything we were doing.”

Mr Gray said the school has embraced the changes.