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Ofsted praises 'Good' Joseph Clarke School

Ofsted published its inspection report for Joseph Clarke School today, rating it ‘Good’ across the board and picking out many aspects for particular praise. 

The report makes for a delightful read. It paints a picture of a school where “leaders and managers have a strong sense of ambition for all pupils underpinned by a very caring ethos” and where pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural experiences are promoted “exceptionally well through a rich curriculum”. 

Group photo of the whole of Joseph Clarke School

Particularly pleasing is the way that the report recognises contribution right across the school and Academy Trust community. Joseph Clarke’s Teaching Assistants are described as “a core strength of the quality of teaching, learning and assessment”. Therapists have their roles recognised in helping to “accurately assess what pupils can do, alongside their specific needs”.  Teachers, says the report, “are committed to deepening pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills. They use skilful questioning to check pupils’ knowledge and understanding”. 

The report says that “the committed Headteacher, supported well by newly appointed senior leaders provides provide stability and good leadership. They have quickly established a culture of high expectation”.

Inspectors also complimented the governors and the role of Whitefield Academy Trust’s directors: “input from the Academy Trust has strengthened the school’s leadership, quality of teaching and pupil outcomes… governors, members and directors of the Academy Trust are making strong contributions to the success of the school.” 

Pupils too, are praised: They are proud of their school, “behave well, are friendly, respectful towards adults and get on well with each other”. 

The school’s links to the wider community is also identified as a strength, with the report picking out effective partnerships with other schools that are designed to ensure secondary pupils “can choose courses that enthuse them to help them prepare for their future career plans”. 

“This report is a wonderful tribute to the hard work and enthusiasm of both our staff and students and the support from the Academy” said Isobel Cox, the Joseph Clarke School Headteacher. “The fact that Ofsted has given us this glowing report, in the midst of building work and at a time of rapid change, makes me very confident for our future progress. I would also like to thank our parents who have been so supportive”.

Owen O’Regan, Chair of Governors at Joseph Clarke School and a director of Whitefield Academy Trust said:  “It was wonderful for Isobel, the staff and the pupils to have the opportunity to show the inspectors what a successful school and community Joseph Clarke is. The school is rightly proud of the education it provides and how it prepares its young people for successful futures and we are delighted that the inspectors agreed.”  
Caroline Sheppard, Chair of Directors of Whitefield Academy Trust said: “The Trust is delighted that the Ofsted inspectors recognised the significant improvements at Joseph Clarke School under the leadership of Isobel Cox and her team, and that input from the Trust has strengthened the school’s leadership, quality of teaching and pupils’ outcomes. The inspectors’ comments about students' friendly, respectful attitude towards adults and the way that they all get on very well with each other reflects the driving ethos of Whitefield Academy Trust - ‘Enjoyment. Achievement and Wellbeing for all’." 

You can read the whole report attached below, or on the Ofsted website here