Highbury Grove rapid progress praised by Ofsted

Highbury Grove School, operated by the City of London Academies Trust, has been recognised for its “swift” and “effective” improvements to teaching and pupil behaviour, following a recent Ofsted behaviour and safeguarding inspection.

The inspection was the first since the school became subject to special measures following an inspection that that took place in 2016 under previous leadership.

Pupils’ personal development and welfare have improved because of the introduction of a new set of standards* promoting high expectations of behaviour. The inspectors said: “leaders have introduced effective strategies to improve behaviour”.

The school’s leadership has taken “swift action to establish a well-ordered environment in which pupils behave well” and as a result “both pupils and staff report that they feel safe in school.” Inspectors found that pupils “behave well” on arrival and departure at school, as well as during lunchtimes, with communications between students and teachers described as “respectful”.

The report also praised Clare Verga, Executive Principal at the school, for her introduction of new strategies “to ensure that staff and pupils all have a common understanding of behaviour expectations”, with staff empowered by her “strong leadership” and “high-quality training”.

New mixed-age tutor groups were found to have “improved the integration of pupils from different backgrounds, ages and abilities”.

The City of London Academies Trust and Islington Council have worked together on transition arrangements to convert the school to an academy, due to complete in the autumn term 2017. A service level agreement is in place enabling the City of London Academies Trust to operate within the school from September 2017. During this time Clare Verga has continued to provide expert leadership as Executive Principal of the school.

Appointed as Principal to City of London Academy Islington in 2012, Clare has transformed the fortunes of the Academy, leading it to become the 15th best school in the UK for student progress.

Andrew McMurtrie, Chairman of the City of London Academies Trust said:

“We are naturally delighted with the Ofsted report and it is evidence that we are taking positive steps to help take the school out of special measures.

“It demonstrates to parents that we are making real progress in improving behaviour and academic achievement at the school.

“The City of London Academies Trust is fully committed to providing access to excellent education and learning opportunities for children and young people. We will continue to work closely with Islington Council, parents and the leadership of the school to ensure that it continues to make improvements.”

The City Corporation, which is already ranked as the top multi-academy sponsor in the country for pupil progress by the Department for Education, sponsors or co-sponsors primary schools and secondary academies across Hackney, Islington and Southwark. All are judged as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

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Notes to editors

New set of standards is called the City of London Academies Trust Foundations of Excellence

Link to OFSTED report here: