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Ashtead school undergoes ‘outstanding’ transformation

Date: 22 February 2016

IMG_6705 (002)It's 'outstanding' news for this school in Ashtead, which has achieved the highest possible rating in its recent Ofsted inspection.

In December 2014, St Giles' C of E Infant School was given the rating of 'requires improvement', meaning teachers had to undergo regular monitoring from inspectors.

But in January, a visit from members of a team from Ofsted saw its rating rise by three levels to achieve 'outstanding', evidencing the school's positive transformation.

Headteacher Tim Smith, who grew up in Ashtead, joined the school just a few months prior to the previous inspection. He said: "The brilliant thing is going from 'requires improvement' to 'outstanding' in just two and a half years. The rating at the time was fair enough but it's just been a lot of hard work since then.

"We have got amazing children and amazing parents who have been incredibly supportive. I have also got 20 amazing staff who never say no, they put in 100 per cent all the time.

“The children were brilliant in the two days of the inspection. They were actually chasing the inspector around the school trying to tell them how much they love the school!"

022_St Giles 14 (002)Lead Ofsted inspector, Bill James wrote: "The quality of teaching has substantially and continually improved since the previous inspection and is now outstanding.

"Pupils achieve exceptionally high levels of attainment in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of Year 2.

"Pupils' personal development is at the heart of all that the school does. This is reflected in high quality care for the pupils, which ensures they feel very safe.

"Pupils enjoy their lessons; their learning genuinely excites them. They form excellent relationships with their teachers, behave impeccably well and work hard to improve their work as a result."

"The St Giles' team have made tremendous progress and truly restored this excellent Church School to the top of the tree!”

Diocesan Director of Education, Canon Derek Holbird commented: “I want to underline the fact that for any school to achieve an 'outstanding' under Ofsted these days is a major achievement. 

"Expected standards have risen and the scrutiny of schools has intensified. It’s all the more remarkable therefore for St Giles' to have achieved 'outstanding' from a much lower baseline. 

“Under the brilliant leadership of head teacher, Tim Smith the St Giles' team have made tremendous progress and truly restored this excellent Church School to the top of the tree!”

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