Tupton Hall School headteacher makes pledge after ‘inadequate’ rating

Headteacher of Tupton Hall School, Andy Knowles.
Headteacher of Tupton Hall School, Andy Knowles.

A Chesterfield headteacher has vowed to turn his school around after inspectors said it requires special measures.

Tupton Hall School was rated ‘inadequate’ by education watchdog Ofsted after an inspection at the start of May.

Headteacher Andrew Knowles said everyone at the school was ‘disappointed’ with the judgements by Ofsted but are determined to achieve a ‘good’ rating in the next 18 months.

Mr Knowles said: “The school’s professionals and its governors firmly believe our children attend a good school.

“We are all extremely disappointed with the judgements made over one and a half days of whole school inspection.

“We find it hard to recognise the school portrayed in the report, which contrasts with staff, student and governors’ daily experiences of school life at Tupton Hall.”

The school was rated ‘inadequate’ for effectiveness of leadership and management and for outcomes for pupils.

It was also deemed to ‘require improvement’ for quality of teaching, learning and assessment and personal development, behaviour and welfare.

However, the school’s sixth form was rated ‘good’.

Inspectors said that the pace of improvement since the last inspection in 2015 has been too slow and that further work is needed to narrow the gap between the achievements of the school’s most disadvantaged students’ and their peers.

“This is the single most significant and ongoing challenge for our school,” Mr Knowles added.

“We have the highest number of disadvantaged students of any school in Derbyshire and many have highly complex needs outside the classroom.

“Everyone involved with the school has worked tirelessly over many years to provide a good educational experience for all and to meet the needs of all students, regardless of ability or background, considering the fact that our intake is fully comprehensive.”

Inspectors did also highlight a number of positives including pupils behaving well in lessons, being polite and that current pupils’ work in English and maths shows improved progress.

The school also expressed its ‘surprise’ that the judgements ‘do not seem to recognise good performance and educational success – evidenced by students’ 98 per cent progression into further education, employment or training.

A spokesman for Ofsted said: “We do not confirm or comment on any complaints received. However, we take all concerns seriously.”