Express & Star

Walsall school rated ‘good’ by Ofsted inspectors

A proud head teacher has hailed a ‘complimentary’ Ofsted report which rated her school as ‘good’ despite it excelling in a number of areas.

Barr Beacon School in Old Hall Lane, Aldridge. Photo:

Government inspectors carried out a two day assessment of Barr Beacon School, in Old Hall Lane, Aldridge, and were full of praise for the behaviour and attitude of pupils, personal development, the leadership and sixth form provision.

But the school missed out on retaining an overall top ‘outstanding’ rating as the quality of education was only deemed to be ‘good’ – the second highest rating.

Inspectors said the area where the school needed to improve on was regular checks on pupils who might need help adding, sometimes, teachers moved on to new learning before children were ready to do so.

Headteacher Kate Hibbs said this one aspect was identified in their own review and so the report had ‘no surprises’ for them.

She also said the framework for inspections had significantly since Barr Beacon was last inspected in 2014 – where it earned an ‘outstaning’ rating.

The report said: “Barr Beacon is a friendly and welcoming school. Pupils enjoy attending, achieve very well and feel safe being themselves. Leaders have created a culture where pupils are ‘proud to succeed’. Pupils take their learning seriously.

"They behave impeccably in lessons, try hard, and do not give up when they find work difficult. Pupils build trusting relationships with staff. This helps everyone feel safe.

"Throughout the school day, staff take every opportunity to interact with pupils. These interactions are warm and friendly.

"If bullying happens, pupils know that they can rely on their teachers to sort it out quickly. Students in the sixth form greatly appreciate the support from teachers who they say routinely ‘go above and beyond’ to help them with their work.”

Mrs Hibbs said: “Barr Beacon School is oversubscribed in all years. The school was graded as ‘good’ overall with ‘outstanding’ for Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development, Sixth Form Provision and Leadership & Management.

“The area graded as ‘good’, which informs the overall judgement was Quality of Education. During the inspection a sample of subjects were ‘deep dived’.

“We are very pleased with the complimentary report that was published following the inspection. The one area for development that was noted is in line with our own self-evaluation and review. There were no surprises.

“The framework for inspections has changed significantly since the last inspection of Barr Beacon School in 2014. The results our pupils achieve however continue to be very good. In 2021, 85 per cent of pupils achieved grade 9-4 in English and Maths and 71 per cent gained grade 9-5 in English and Maths. Our average grade for qualifications at Key Stage 5 was a grade B.

“The report reflects the ethos of our school and captures what it is like to be a Barr Beacon pupil. I am incredibly proud of the hard work of all of my staff and we are committed to continue to strive for excellence in the future.”

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