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Ofsted reports

Ofsted Inspection February 2013

Letter from the Headteacher to all parents/carers:

Dear Parents and Students

I am very pleased to attach the Ofsted Report on the school’s performance following our recent inspection.  We are proud of our school and very pleased that the Ofsted Inspection recognised the school’s many strengths.

The Inspection is based on our own self-evaluation, the school’s results over the past three years and the evidence that the inspectors gathered during their two days in the school.

The inspection concluded that Matthew Arnold School is a very well-led and managed school where students achieve well, are happy and safe.  Students’ behaviour is respectful and courteous and there are good relationships between teachers and students.  The teaching is good and enables students to achieve standards above the national averages.  Progress from KS2 to KS4 is well above national average and the students then go on to achieve high academic standards in the sixth form.  The school’s governance is very strong; supporting and challenging us in our continual drive for improvement.

The school was judged as “good” overall and the inspection showed that we are very effective in meeting our students’ needs and that, with the exception of a small number of individuals, students achieve very well. 

The two aspects identified by the inspection team that need further work to secure “outstanding” overall are those areas we have also identified and already started to address through our school improvement plan.  One aspect for further work is to increase the proportion of outstanding teaching across the school and the other is to make sure that all our students make equally good progress.

I am very confident that we have the capacity and the drive to continue to make improvements to the quality of teaching and to raise the standards of attainment for those few students who are currently less successful.

I want to thank all the parents and carers who have provided feedback, both through the Parent View Survey during the Inspection and also through the Parents’ Evening Questionnaires and the Annual Parents’ Survey.  The views you express are very valuable in helping us to know what we are doing well and where we need to improve.  I also want to thank the students and staff who made sure that their pride in our school was very much in evidence during the inspection.

Please do read the full report; it describes the many strengths of the school in detail and highlights those areas where we are already making improvements. 

Thank you for your continuing support for the school.  I will continue to ensure that we are doing our best for every student.

Yours sincerely

Mrs K J Ryan

PDF Download the Ofsted Report February 2013

PDF Go to the Ofsted Website

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Ofsted Inspection Update 4 April 2011

Letter from the Headteacher to all parents/carers:

You are probably aware that Ofsted’s inspectors visit schools on a regular basis to ensure schools are providing the quality of education that enables the best outcomes for their students.  The frequency of inspection visit depends on the standards achieved by the school since the last inspection.

Good and outstanding schools are inspected less frequently than other schools and, as a “good school with an outstanding sixth form” (February 2008), Ofsted have carried out an interim assessment to determine when our next inspection will fall.  The interim assessment for Matthew Arnold School has shown that our standards are significantly higher than those achieved in other schools nationally and as a result of our continuing high standards in academic performance at GCSE and A level and in our high attendance rates, we will be inspected no earlier than summer 2012.  This falls within the usual 3-5 year inspection cycle for good schools.

We are delighted that this “desktop inspection”, undertaken by Her Majesty’s Inspectors, has confirmed the continuing strong performance of the school.  Our success can be attributed to a range of factors.  These include:

I trust that you will join us in celebrating this acknowledgement of our continuing commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for all the students in our school.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Katherine Ryan


Go to the Ofsted website

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Ofsted Inspection 13 February 2008

Letter from the Headteacher to all parents/carers:

On February 13 2008, the school was inspected by Ofsted.  The inspectors’ overall judgement of the school’s effectiveness is that “Matthew Arnold is a good school with an outstanding sixth form”. 

We are delighted with this outcome because the inspectors confirmed that we have “very good capacity to improve” from this strong position and it reflects our own self-assessment of the quality of education that we provide for all our students.

The inspectors investigated a number of aspects of school life, including looking at the outcomes of external examinations at Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and in the sixth form and our own self-evaluation judgements of our provision. The next inspection in the cycle will be in approximately three years’ time.

The full Ofsted report is available on our school website and will be published on the Ofsted website on March 6 2008 (www.ofsted.gov.uk). If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the report, please contact the school.

Extracts from the report:

Sixth Form Provision

We are, of course, particularly pleased that the work of Mrs. Brinkley, Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for post-16 education, and the tutors and teachers of years 12 and 13 has been recognised as outstanding. The inspectors found that “sixth formers enjoy their time at school and do well. Their academic progress, which is very well supported by form tutors, is excellent and the standards reached are very good”.

Achievement and Standards

“Students make exceptional progress in their first three years at the school and the standards that they reach at the end of Year 9 in English, mathematics and science are very good indeed.  The standards achieved at Key Stage 4 are above average.  Until recently, the progress made in Key Stage 4 has slowed.  The school is aware of this and has been addressing the issues rigorously such that progress in these two years is improving and overall achievement is now good”.

Leadership and Management

“The senior leadership team is excellent.  The senior leaders are playing an important role in developing the leadership and management skills of middle leaders and through secure systems are ensuring that most staff are playing a significant part in driving improvements.  Leaders throughout the school, including students, are involved in contributing to the development of new initiatives and in evaluating the impact of the work of the school”.

Student’s Personal Development and Well-being

“Students enjoy school and their attendance is good.  They are articulate and purposeful.  The school enables many to take leadership roles and to support others through, for example, peer reading schemes, the eco-school initiative and a wide range of sporting options”.

Further improvement

In order for the school to improve further, the inspectors made three recommendations, shown below.  In the report the inspectors state that, “the headteacher has a very accurate picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the school; she is ambitious for the school and has robust plans to ensure that all students are very well served by it”.  The inspectors are aware that each of their recommendations for further improvement has already been identified by our own self-evaluation and, indeed, is already being addressed through our current School Improvement Plan.

The inspectors also write a letter to all students explaining the outcomes of the inspection; we have attached a copy to this letter for your son or daughter to read.  The students’ letter is also included in the full report on the websites.

We will continue to strive to improve everything that we do by building on our existing strengths, and I look forward to receiving more of your feedback when we put out our annual parents’ survey.  In the meantime, if you do have a concern or a compliment, please do not hesitate to contact the school.  The key contact for matters relating to your child is the tutor, or the Key Stage Leader (also known as Year Head).  We will do our best to respond quickly to you and to follow up anything you raise with us.

Thank you for your continuing support.  We can only achieve our school aim of “success for everyone” by working in partnership with you.

Yours sincerely,

Katherine Ryan (Mrs)


You can download a copy of the summary report here:

PDF Ofsted Summary Report (9 pages)

Further information about the inspection process is available from the Ofsted website.

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Ofsted 2004


This school is already good and it continues to improve strongly. There are very effective and occasionally excellent features and important aspects requiring improvement. The budget only allows average spending per pupil, yet standards are well above average by the end of compulsory schooling. Teaching and learning are good and pupils make good progress in lessons and achieve very well long term. Leadership and management are very effective in setting and meeting high expectations. The school therefore offers very good value for money.

The school’s main strengths and weaknesses are:

There has been very good improvement in effectiveness since the previous inspection of 1999. The current head teacher has led a very successful assault on the weaknesses then exposed and GCSE standards are radically improved. Post-16 results in 2004, as yet unconfirmed, indicate well above average standards in a much-expanded sixth form. Progress, only satisfactory in 1999, is now very good, and behaviour is much more positive. The number on roll has increased and facilities are far better. Teaching and learning have improved from barely satisfactory to good, with much that is very good.

Date of inspection: 4 - 7 October, 2004

PDF Ofsted Summary Report (6 pages)

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