School goes from 'outstanding' to 'good' in latest ratings (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Walthamstow School for Girls rated 'good' following inspection in January
A girls’ school with a long track record of being rated 'outstanding' has been downgraded to 'good' under tough new inspections criteria.
Walthamstow School for Girls, in Church Hill, Walthamstow, was classed as 'good' in a report published by Ofsted last week.
Inspectors found not enough teaching was outstanding, and teachers' marking does not always set out clearly how pupils can make improvements.
Under the old framework, the secondary school was awarded an 'outstanding' rating after its inspection in 2007.
However many headteachers have said since the coalition government took office in 2010 it is far tougher to achieve an 'outstanding' rating.
And Walthamstow School for Girls headteacher Meryl Davies said she felt the assessment was fair under the new criteria.
She added: "We believe this is a fair judgement. Very few secondary schools are now achieving an outstanding judgement in recent inspections.
"For example, only three outstanding judgements have been given to secondary schools nationwide since the most recent change to the Ofsted framework came into play in January.
"This is a very different system to what it was only a few years ago. The lead inspector himself told us that good is the new outstanding."
And Ms Davies said she welcomed the higher standards.
She added: "This is only good if these more stringent standards are applied consistently to all schools.
"We hear of other schools where the quality of the inspectors on the team has been variable. Indeed, a report published only today appears to confirm this.
"On the whole, we felt the team that inspected our school were fair as well as experienced. However, these teams are now under great pressure to reach a judgement on all aspects of a school in around just 30 hours."
In 2013 the school achieved its best GCSE results ever on the key measure of students obtaining five or more A* to C grades including English and maths.
In 2013, the proportion of students gaining five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C including English and maths was above the national average.
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