Ofsted says Heathfield Community College is good with outstanding features

HEATHFIELD COMMUNITY College achieved a ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ features during an Ofsted inspection last month. The college was given less than 48 hours to prepare for the two-day inspection.

Head teacher Alan Powell explained that the Inspectorate’s new framework has already gained a reputation for increased rigour and higher expectation, making it more difficult for schools to achieve the top grade of ‘Outstanding.’

But he went on to say it is a much-improved process, involving senior leaders working alongside Inspectors in carrying out a review of the day-to-day operation of the College.

Ofsted recognised that overall Heathfield Community College is a good school which is serving its pupils well. They acknowledged that ‘leaders and managers of all levels, including the governing body, know the school well and are aware of its strengths and act effectively to address identified weaknesses.’ The Ofsted team also identified that ‘lessons are characterised by teachers’ secure and enthusiastically conveyed subject knowledge, high expectations and confident use of varied resources including ICT.’

Overall teaching was identified to be ‘Good’ with some lessons that achieved the top ‘Outstanding’ grade.

Students were told by letter that ‘the head teacher and senior leadership team set high standards and are determined that you should succeed.’ She also emphasised that ‘the College’s culture of high expectations and aspirations provides you with a good platform for learning and helps you to prepare successfully for life beyond school.’

The inspection team was overwhelmed by the quality of the artwork on display and the outstanding work, not only within the arts but also practice in many other areas including English, learning support, sociology and PE.

Governors of the school are pleased that the current strengths of the College have been recognised through this inspection process but also that the inspection team recognised both the ambition of the College and the progress being made towards the goal of providing excellent opportunities and outstanding learning for all students.