Northampton School for Girls (NSG) in Spinney Hill was visited by inspectors on November 30 and December 1 last year.
In a report from the school watchdog, published on Friday (January 21), NSG was graded ‘outstanding’ for personal development, leadership and management and sixth form provision.
It was ranked as ‘good’ for quality of education and behaviour and attitudes, which meant it received an overall rating of ‘good’.
The inspection at the end of last year was the first the school had been subject to for more than 15 years as the school was formerly exempt from inspections due to its previous ‘outstanding’ rating. The inspection was also the first since the school became an academy in 2014.
In the most recent inspection report, Ofsted officers said they found the school to be ‘welcoming and inclusive’ and that children were ‘happy’ and ‘felt safe’.
The report says: “There is a wide range of subjects for pupils to study at key stage 4 and in the sixth form, including vocational subjects.
“Expectations are high. Pupils achieve well.
“Staff are determined to help pupils achieve their best in most subjects, particularly performing arts and humanities subjects.
“Staff provide effective support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and those who speak English as an additional language.”
The inspection found that safeguarding is effective at NSG.
It also highlighted areas where improvement is needed, including in some subjects where teachers need to ‘ensure that pupils’ understanding of concepts taught is secure before setting tasks or moving learning on’ and leaders need to ‘ensure that staff are consistent in their application of the school’s behaviour management policies’.
In response to the Ofsted inspection, headteacher Cristina Taboada-Naya, appointed in 2020, made it clear that her school is striving for ‘outstanding’.
Mrs Taboada-Naya said: “The resolve and resilience of our staff and students, repeatedly demonstrated throughout the pandemic, shines through from Ofsted's judgement.
“The scale of this achievement is immense given the challenges we have faced during the past 20 months of business very much not as usual.
“Despite these obstacles, our wonderful school community has continued to thrive and achieve impressively.
“It speaks for itself that 89 percent of parents and carers surveyed by Ofsted during this inspection said they would recommend our school.
“I firmly believe these issues are very much the anomalous consequence of significant staff absence and changes that have had to be implemented
swiftly in the short-term, or are being addressed already through rigorous remedial actions.
“We are already making plans to invite the inspectorate back to our school, prior to the next routine inspection, to review our provision.
“The school is driven to achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating at the next inspection, recognising how incredibly close we were this time.”
Chris Kiernan, interim assistant director of education, West Northamptonshire
added: "At a time when schools face the greatest challenge ever experienced in the education system, what NSG has achieved in this inspection - and continues to achieve for its students - is impressive.
“NSG is an exemplary school. Its support for young people extends far beyond its own walls and student body, into the wider community as a whole.
“By contributing to high profile local initiatives as well as supporting other schools NSG has remained true to its 1915 founding principle of developing the whole person.”
To read the full inspection report, visit the Ofsted website.