WORK has started on getting Tenbury High School back to where it belongs.
That is the clear message from head teacher Adrian Price and chair of governors John Garbutt.
Both men spoke to the Advertiser after the shock news had been revealed that Tenbury High School had been placed in ‘special measures’ following an inspection by education watchdogs OFSTED.
Adrian Price, who took over as head in September, said that everyone involved with the school had been hurt by the outcome but that they are equally determined to put things right.
“This outcome from OFSTED is about where the school was and not where we are now,” added John Garbutt. “OFSTED has recognised in their report that steps are already being taken to improve things.
“We had known that the report was unlikely to be good but did not expect to be put into special measures. The report could not take into account the summer 2013 results where we did very well especially in the sciences.
“Tenbury High School was not in a good place a year ago and we have responded.”
News that Tenbury High was being placed into special measures will result in stringent monitoring and a series of supportive interventions was received just two days before Christmas.
“Of course people do not feel good about it because no one likes to be told that there work is not up to scratch,” said Adrian Price.
But a range of measures including more stringent reporting and sharing of best practice have been introduced.
“When I started as head in September I told the staff that our core business is teaching and learning and that we are going to make the main thing the main thing,” he added.
The school has a strong reputation for its community engagement but has been let down by inconsistency and poor performance in the key subjects of English and Maths.
“We have two new English teachers and I was aware of the issues and we are all determined to get it right, Adrian Price added. “This is a great school.”
He said that problems in July 2012, when the school like many others had been affected by a change in the marking regime for English exams, had not helped.
But he refused to accept that the row had been a distraction that had perhaps allowed excuses to be made for deficiencies.
However, John Garbutt said that OFSTED had made it clear that Tenbury High must forget about the marking issue.
“That was in past and our attention needs to be on the future,” said Adrian Price.
Both head teacher and chair of governors believe that the opening of a new £2 million English and Mathematics teaching block is a practical demonstration of confidence in the school.
With a third of the 400 students coming from outside the catchment they recognise the importance of parents sharing that confidence.
Caption: Look to the future are head teacher Adrian Price (left) and the chair of governors John Garbutt