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County School Is ‘Outstanding’ – It’s Official

Published on: 24 Feb, 2017
Updated on: 28 Feb, 2017

Guildford County School has been designated “outstanding” following an Ofsted inspection conducted on of January 17 and 18. Inspectors noted students’: “excellent progress across a wide range of subjects”, with pupil achievement, “well above the national average and in the top 15% in the country”.

Highlights from the Ofsted report include:

  • “Pupils achieve very high standards and make excellent progress from their starting points.
  • “All pupils are unanimous in their praise for the respectful and warm atmosphere in the school.
  • “The curriculum is lively and interesting. The academic focus is enhanced by extensive additional enrichment opportunities
  • “The most able pupils’ progress is well above the national average… [They] are challenged very effectively with skillful questioning or additional tasks
  • “Pupils are proud of their school and their achievements. They are active citizens who make significant contributions to their community within and outside of the school.”

The report refers to the school’s, “very extensive programme of after-school events and visits’ and its “pivotal” music provision, noting “the school choirs… are integral to life in the school”.

A cross section of Guildford County School Pupils proudly display their “Outstanding” banner

Ofsted also noted the “extremely high standards” modeled by teachers and other staff, with pupils and staff enjoying “very positive relationships, built on mutual respect and affection.”

The only recommendation for further improvement was that the school should: “Ensure that disadvantaged pupils and those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities make as strong progress from their starting points as other pupils in the school.”

One parent commented to inspectors: “I am encouraged daily by the kindness and compassion of the staff,” and inspectors found: “Parents are overwhelmingly positive about leadership across the school. They are also unanimous about the high standards of teaching and the rapid progress that pupils make.”

Head teacher Jack Mayhew said: “I am delighted that the warm heart and drive for excellence of both staff and students at County has been recognised with this outstanding Ofsted result. This is very much a shared achievement: our whole school community can be proud.”

Janette Owen, chair of governors, said: “The governors are delighted that Ofsted has recognised the exceptional qualities of the school. The head and his staff work tirelessly to raise standards for all students and we are very proud of our young people.”

Mr Mayhew added, “Ofsted has declared us to be providing an outstanding education for our students. We are not perfect – we continue to strive for excellence, embracing the challenges and opportunities to improve our provision going forward.”

The report identified that the head teacher “has transformed the school since his appointment by raising the expectations of the whole school community.” It also said that governors are “ambitious and challenging… successfully set(ting) the strategic direction of the school through their exacting support for leaders.”

The leadership of the sixth form was also deemed “highly effective” in the report, noting an increasing number of students offered places at the most prestigious universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.

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