Back on the right track

Market weighton school
Market weighton school

DELIGHTED staff and pupils at The Market Weighton School are celebrating after being taken out of special measures.

In just their fourth monitoring visit, Ofsted inspectors were so impressed with the work that was going on within the school that they believed it no longer needed special measures.

The school was placed in special measures in October 2010 and since then has been working collaboratively with South Hunsley School and East Riding Council to get back on the right track.

Acting headteacher Gavin Chappell, who previously worked at South Hunsley School, said: “It has been a real team effort and we’re delighted to achieve this in such a short space of time.

“I think it is a real boost for the town. It’s the only secondary school in the town and it’s important that the town has a school it can be proud of.”

He added: “We always said we wanted to be out of special measures by the end of this academic year. So, to achieve it before then, we are really pleased.”

Mr Chappell took on the role of acting head in July last year, replacing Phil Tibbetts who resigned due to ill health.

Since then the school has seen a number of changes which have contributed to its recent success.

“We’ve done a lot of work around raising expectations of students abilities, raising aspirations of students in terms of what they want to achieve,” Mr Chappell said.

“We have done a lot around teacher training and development. We have worked with the authority and with colleagues at South Hunsley in order to develop a training programme for the teaching staff at the school. They have all been actively involved in that and have welcomed it, which is good for us.”

According to Mr Chappell, a number of tough decisions have had to be made over the past year, including a major restructure, which saw the loss of four support staff jobs, and scrapping an intake of sixth-form students last September due to a lack of interest.

Mr Chappell said: “We have had a lot of challenges on the way and some parts have been tough.

“We have had to make some difficult decisions in terms of getting the school on the right footing but we have had the backing from staff and parents along the way and they have really bought into the idea of what we are trying to do.”

He says the aim for the school is now to “build for the future of the school and keep improving the educational standards for the children.”

The news has also been welcomed by East Riding Council.

Councillor Julie Abraham, the authority’s portfolio holder for children, young people and schools, said: “It is excellent news that The Market Weighton School no longer requires special measures and that it is well placed to continue to improve and provide a good standard of education for its students.

“Congratulations must go to those that have been involved in bringing about this improvement.”