Herne Bay High School’s most recent Ofsted inspection was carried out over the 6th and 7th March 2014 (to read the full March 2014 report and the previous two Ofsted reports of June 2011 and May 2008, please see the links below).
The Ofsted team graded all aspects of the school’s work as ‘Good’, which Dr Owen and the governors believe to be a fair evaluation of the school, with the school’s own internal grading mirroring Ofsted’s exactly. From the feedback given by the inspectors, it was evident that the school was very close to achieving an Ofsted grading of ‘Outstanding’, particularly in the areas of the ‘behaviour and safety of pupils’ and the ‘leadership and management of the school’, again this aligns exactly to the school’s own self-evaluation grading.
The March 2014 Ofsted report highlights many areas of considerable strength including:
The inspection team reported that students were making good progress from their starting points, including disabled students and those with special educational needs and those from different backgrounds. It praised the quality of teaching and support for students, identifying the follow key aspects:
The inspection team also reported that the behaviour of students is good, not only in lessons where students are keen to take part in classroom discussions and to answer teachers’ questions, but also around the school, where students respond positively to school leaders’ emphasis on smart presentation, and courtesy towards and consideration for others.
The inspection team noted that the school’s work to keep students safe and secure is good with students confirming that bullying is uncommon and that staff deal with any occurrences promptly and firmly.
With regard to the leadership and management of the school, the inspection team were highly complementary. They recognised that Dr Owen, her senior team and leaders at all levels know and understand the school’s strengths as well as its relative weaknesses and are strongly committed to ensuring that standards continue to rise by improving teaching still further. The team were impressed that the weaknesses identified by the school’s last inspection have been successfully addressed, including students’ attendance, and the strengths have been built upon, demonstrating good capacity for further improvement.
Ofsted found that the school promotes equality of opportunity very well and that students in all year groups, including the sixth form, are provided with a good range of courses which are well matched to their needs, abilities and career intentions. This helps to ensure that students achieve well and are well prepared for the next stage of their education and for future employment. The inspection team were amazed at the extra-curricular opportunities seen with students benefiting from a very wide variety of after-school clubs and out-of-school activities, with this enabling very many of them to pursue their interests in sport, music, art and drama and to develop their skills in these areas, often to a high level. It also contributes strongly to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
The governance of the school was also commended during the inspection. The inspectors found that governors make sure they are well informed about students’ performance by carefully examining examination results and the school’s own data about students’ progress and that they challenge leaders to account for what they are doing to address any variations in achievement compared with that of students in other schools. This has helped the school to improve. It was also noted that the governors are fully aware of the quality of teaching in different areas and subjects, and they know what leaders are doing to bring about improvement. The governing body also meets all statutory requirements, keeping a close eye on the school’s finances to make sure that it makes good use of available resources, and ensuring that the school meets all requirements with regard to safeguarding its students.
Ofsted supported the school’s own evaluation of the areas in which the school needs to focus on the next stage of its journey, namely for teachers to ensure that classroom tasks are always pitched at the right level to match the learners’ needs and for teachers to give more detailed feedback on students’ work.
Parental Feedback using the Ofsted Survey Questions
In order to establish how parents regard the work of the school, we carry out regular parental surveys, using the questions Ofsted ask parents. Please see below for the results of these surveys:
To question 1, ‘My child is happy at the school’:
To question 4, ‘My child is well looked after at this school’:
To question 10, ‘The school responds well to any concern I raise':
To question 12, ‘I would recommend this school to another parent’: 98.05% said they would
In January 2018, as part of their inspection process, Ofsted carried out their own survey - please see below: