Once-failing school bounces back with an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report

Headteacher Carley Holliman with pupils at Brockswood Primary School, Hemel Hempstead, which has been graded outstanding.
Headteacher Carley Holliman with pupils at Brockswood Primary School, Hemel Hempstead, which has been graded outstanding.

A primary school has shed its once negative reputation and is celebrating after being awarded an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating.

Brockswood Primary School in Shenley Road, Hemel Hempstead, was given the grading by the education watchdog just two years after it was told it required improvement.

Inspectors said the school, which caters for 210 children aged three to 11, was outstanding in all areas, including leadership and management, behaviour and safety, quality of teaching, achievement and early years education.

Headteacher Carley Holliman, who has been at the helm since September 2010, said: “I would like to express my heartfelt, sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone in the school community for this excellent outcome.

“The school’s success reflects the value and importance we place on everyone working together to achieve a shared vision for the school.

“The school has been wonderfully supported by the governing body. We have always said that our children are our best ambassadors and we are delighted that the inspection report recognised this.”

Ms Holliman and her team of dedicated staff have turned the once-failing school around, boosting pupils’ attendance from 86.4 per cent five years ago to 95 per cent it is today.

Staff worked to encourage them to come to school, and now attendance is praised through regular newsletters and attendance awards. The second main focus has been raising aspirations.

Ms Holliman said: “There were low expectations of children in our area and we wanted to show them that they can as go far as they wish, if they put the work in.”

Inspectors noted the senior leadership team’s successful drive to ensure rapid improvements in teaching quality and pupils’ attainment

The report said: “Teachers have very high expectations of their pupils; they make school fun and plan work that motivates and inspires them to do well. Pupils are proud of their school and its success. The school prepares pupils very well to face the opportunities and challenges of life in modern Britain.”