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Ofsted says Heworth Grange is on “A Journey of Transformation”

Ofsted has finalised its latest report following an inspection at Heworth Grange School in April 2022. Ofsted is clear that Heworth Grange is on “a journey of transformation”, where leaders are passionate about driving improvement and change and are invested in the academic success of all their students.

The Gateshead school’s Ofsted rating has improved from ‘Inadequate’ in 2017, prior to joining Consilium Academies in 2018, to ‘Requires Improvement’, bringing the school out of what was formerly known as ‘Special Measures’, and marking the significant changes the school has undertaken under new leadership. 

In its report Ofsted notes that leaders are very clear about what the school still needs to do to improve, and praises leaders and staff who are ambitious for the school and want it to continue to improve. The new headteacher, Allie Denholm, who took up her post in June 2020, will use this report as a strong foundation on which to drive forward the improvements needed. 

The report celebrates the successes that leaders and staff have achieved, such as improvements in the curriculum, including leaders being trained in curriculum design, improvements in the provision for students with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), and focusing on building a respectful culture alongside the introduction of a new personal development offer. 

Speaking to inspectors, students talked positively about the changes they are seeing in school, older students explained that behaviour is getting better, whilst year 7 students described the school as ‘friendly’. Inspectors also noted that many students are beginning to share their teachers’ positive attitudes towards their learning. 

Ofsted highlights the school’s robust careers provision for every student, including giving additional guidance to students with SEND, and noted especially that leaders were creative in how they designed opportunities for students to interact virtually with employers during COVID. 

Outside the classroom, students talked to inspectors with enthusiasm about the wide range of extra-curricular opportunities available to them, including creative writing, cooking, music, magic and a wide range of sports. Ofsted notes that parents and carers appreciate the visits and trips the school has offered recently, including to the Royal Northern College of Music and the Birmingham Computing Convention.

Allie Denholm, Headteacher at Heworth Grange School, part of Consilium Academies, said:

“We have made some fantastic changes already at Heworth and this report showcases that we are on the right path. 

“I am incredibly proud of the feedback students gave inspectors, where they talked positively about the changes they are seeing in school. However, we are also very clear about the changes that still need to happen in order for us to meet our student and staff ambitions.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank our school and wider Consilium team for their ongoing hard work, support, and dedication to ensuring we continue to improve every aspect of education at Heworth Grange School.” 

David Clayton, Chief Executive at Consilium Academies, said:

“It is fantastic to see that Ofsted has recognised the transformational changes that have been made at Heworth Grange since joining Consilium. We all strive to ensure that our children can achieve anything they choose which is especially reflected in the excellent comments about the careers provision on offer. 

“We are proud that Ofsted has recognised that leaders from the trust are driving improvements with integrity, and this coupled with Allie’s focus will ensure that Heworth Grange not only continues to improve on every area of development but surpasses that goal in time.”