Ofsted report downgrades William Edwards to “Requires Improvement”

William Edwards

AN OFSTED inspection report, set to be published on Monday, is expected to grade William Edwards school as “Requires Improvement”.

However it looks like the Stifford-Clays based school with a reputation for sporting excellence is asking the education inspectors to look again at the report which, if it stands, is a bitter blow to the school and the local authority for a number of reasons.

According to the school’s PR company, the inspectors rated the school as ‘Good’ in behaviour, personal development, welfare and the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

However, the judgement for outcomes and leadership were ‘requires improvement’. As this area was rated as ‘requires improvement’, the overall judgement is limited to being ‘requires improvement’.

Following the inspection, the school and the Trust, working closely with Thurrock Council, have lodged a formal complaint with Ofsted and are requesting an early re-inspection.

Simon Bell, Headteacher at William Edwards School, said: “The report shows that Ofsted judged behaviour, personal development, welfare and the quality of teaching, learning and assessment as ‘Good’. This matches our own evaluation against the criteria in the current inspection framework.

“During the inspection, the high-quality work of pupils and staff was evident throughout and we are delighted that the bedrock of the education provided in the school was observed and commented upon in an extremely positive manner.

“However, we are deeply unhappy with the overall judgement and a number of significant aspects of the inspection process. The judgement for outcomes and leadership were ‘requires improvement’. This was partly based on a small point of detail relating to the school’s alternative provision that was previously inspected in 2017 and judged to be a strength of the school.

“We do not feel that this overall judgement reflects an accurate picture of the school. We judge the school to be ‘Good’ in all areas under the current framework. Consequently, a formal complaint has been lodged with Ofsted. That complaint outlines several areas of concern about the inspection process, including that the views of parents about the school were not sought appropriately by the inspection team – this is highly irregular and a failure by Ofsted to discharge their own statutory duty in this regard.”

Steve Munday, Chief Executive of South West Essex Community Education Trust, said: “We are clear that this overall judgement does not reflect the quality of education provided at William Edwards.

Cllr James Halden, Portfolio Holder for Education and Health, said: “The overall inspection judgement is not one we recognise and we fully support the position taken by the school and Trust to try and secure re-inspection at the earliest opportunity possible.

“We are committed to working with schools and other partners to ensure children in Thurrock get the best possible education.”

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