Northampton secondary school maintains ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating after reduction in pupil exclusions

The Duston School in Northampton has maintained its 'outstanding' Ofsted rating
The Duston School in Northampton has maintained its 'outstanding' Ofsted rating

A secondary school in Northampton has retained its ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted after an inspection found a “dramatic” reduction in the number of pupil exclusions.

The Duston School, in Berrywood Road, was given the highest possible rating by the Government’s education watchdog after a visit by inspectors in November 2013.

Another inspection in February 2015 found this standard was not maintained as too many pupils were being internally secluded or excluded from school for fixed periods.

Ofsted inspectors visited the school again last month and found the proportion of pupils excluded from the school is now well below the national average.

The report states: “The response of leaders to the priorities for further improvement, identified as a result of the no formal designation monitoring inspection conducted in January 2015, has been rapid and effective.

“There has been a dramatic reduction in the proportion of pupils that are excluded from the school for fixed periods and for those repeatedly experiencing this punishment.”

The report states the behaviour policy is effective and is understood by staff and by pupils and attendance is well above average.

It reads: “The library is extremely well used. A range of activities are provided here, and very many pupils take advantage of these. Pupils play chess, read, attempt quiz and crosswords, use computers and meet their friends. Inspectors saw pupils that were cooperative, amenable and happy.”

Jane Herriman, Executive Principal, told the Ofsted inspectors the school had gone through a “lengthy” and “tortuous” process to move out of the control of the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) and become a trust in its own right,

Ms Herriman said, since this happened in March 2015, the school had been ‘flying with wings’.

She said: “We are so delighted that Ofsted have noted that the school has taken effective action to maintain the high standards since our previous inspection.

“We now have two successive Outstanding Ofsteds for TDS (2013 and 2016). We know that we still have a lot of work to do and I know that we are intent on sustaining and improving on our very high expectations and standards. The young people and staff here should be thanked for their continued support and hard work as we strive to give the young people here the very best education that we can.”