Ofsted report confirms Heathfield Community College could be Outstanding.


ofsted1Heathfield Community College are delighted this week to be able to share the report from their recent Ofsted inspection. Although the inspection took place on 10-11 March the recent events due to coronavirus have delayed its release. Ofsted are not publishing reports on their website until schools reopen but we are free to share this with our community.

This report represents the best outcome possible under what was a Section 8 inspection, designed to check if a school rated good, remains good. It concluded that there was sufficient evidence that the school could be judged outstanding in a subsequent inspection. The two-day inspection included a thorough exploration of safeguarding, behaviour and bullying, the wider curriculum, staff workload and the quality of education evidenced by ‘Deep Dives’ over five subjects.

Following a five-year journey of significant improvement, the College was in a strong position. However, this report and the verbal feedback that was given at the time is glowing. This is a real testament to the quality and depth of education at the College. Recognising the curriculum as innovative and ambitious, it reflects the talent and expertise of staff in designing and implementing learning in all subjects which enables all our students to excel. The impact of learning outside the classroom and beyond examination classes is also highlighted as particularly enriching.

The superb work of our pastoral staff is emphasised as a strength of the school. Student wellbeing and the development of articulate, confident young people who can thrive and succeed in the world was recognised by inspectors, in both what they saw and heard in College, as well as the feedback they received.

ofsted2Headteacher Caroline Barlow said: “More than anything, to me this report represents the powerful community that is Heathfield; students who are keen to learn and thrive in their environment, positive families who are a supportive and dynamic influence; support staff who enable the college to function smoothly and efficiently, as well as the teachers and staff who work tirelessly for the development of the young people in our care. It describes and acknowledges all of us. I would also like to thank the governors and the local authority for their support and guidance in enabling the school to develop over the last five years. The combination of trust and challenge has enabled leaders to drive the necessary improvements.”

Richard Karn, Chair of Governors, spoke on behalf of all governors emphasising the quality of leadership required to drive an outcome of this nature: “It was inspiring to see the way in which a clear insight paid testament to the exceptional leadership of the College that has steered the College to this point.”

Governors also remarked that “the clear, consistent leadership required to fulfill a vision of improvement and achievement year on year, in a climate of financial and political change and uncertainty, is impressive and has made the College an outstanding place for all students to learn.”

The next step will be a further ‘full Section 5’ inspection in the next one to two years. It will be this additional inspection which could facilitate a change of the school’s official grading to Outstanding. Please click on these links for the Headteacher’s letter to parents and the full report.

Headteacher’s Letter, 27 April 2020

Ofsted Report, April 2020