Principal of Kingsthorpe College has ‘improved quality of teaching’ with staff changes

Debbie Morrison, headteacher of Kingsthorpe College
Debbie Morrison, headteacher of Kingsthorpe College

An Ofsted inspector has praised the work of a new principal of a secondary school who has been credited for improving the quality of teaching at a Northampton secondary school.

A report published following a visit to Kingsthorpe College by Her Majesty’s Inspector Ian McNeilly has found the school has improved in a number of areas since it was placed in the ‘requires improvement’ category in June 2013.

Since the last Ofsted monitoring inspection in June 2014, a deputy and an assistant headteacher have left the school as well as 16 other teachers. In total, 19 new teachers have joined the school in the past year.

Principal Debbie Morrison, who took over the school a year ago, has also led an extensive re-structuring of the senior leadership team and several members of staff are working in new roles or have new responsibilities.

In his report Mr McNeilly said: “Individual leaders have risen to the challenges you (Mrs Morrison) have set them.

“They are very focused on their roles, they have clear and extensive understanding of how to fulfil their duties and they can clearly demonstrate evidence of the impact of much of their work.”

Mr McNeilly also found a greater proportion of students achieved five GCSE A* to C grades, including English and maths in 2014 than in previous years, which “reflected the work of all staff to improve the quality of teaching.”

Mr McNeilly also found that the academy’s progress data is more accurate than it was and improved the system by which teachers’ performance is managed.

He said: “Staff changes along with the support and training provided to teachers, have contributed to an improvement in the quality of teaching in the academy.”

The academy’s sponsor, Collaborative Academies Trust, was also praised for “understanding the needs of the school well and offering challenge and support to ensure improvements in performance.”

Mrs Morrison said: “We knew we were going in the right direction. I would like to thank all the staff, pupils and parents as we would never have been able to do this without their support.”