Congratulations to The John Roan – another good local school

John Roan upper school before refurb 2012The John Roan School has just been judged as “Good” by Ofsted inspectors – a real tribute to headteacher Des Malone, other staff and governors. The school had been judged to be “Satisfactory” at its last inspection in 2011 – an over-harsh judgement which I am glad has now been superceded.

Ofsted’s report, published on December 6th after the inspection on November 20th-21st, can be read here. What’s telling is that the school has been found to be doing so well despite the current disruption caused by the school’s rebuilding – the Maze Hill campus is currently a building site, on the Westcombe Park Road site pupils are being taught in a temporary block as work is completed on a new building, and the school has temporarily taken over a third site, on Royal Hill in the middle of Greenwich, in the meantime.

John Roan School's new Westcombe Park Road building has recently been topped out

John Roan School’s new Westcombe Park Road building has recently been topped out

“The major building works which have been underway for more than a year present particular challenges which the students cope with extremely effectively,” the inspectors say. “They behave in an exemplary fashion when moving site to site and their good behaviour is remarked upon and appreciated by the local community.”

Ofsted inspectors do not give praise lightly, so the judgement is something that the school, and its governors and students , can be very proud of.

Academically the school delivers much better than expected. “The majority of students join the school with attainment in English and mathematics that is significantly below the national average and go on to achieve very well across all subjects,” the report says. For the first time, GCSE results in 2013 were above the national average as well as above the Greenwich average – a significant achievement for any school in inner London. Teachers were found to have “high expectations” which are increasingly met by students.

Blackheath and Westcombe Park are lucky to have such good state schools on our doorstep, with both Invicta Primary School (which Ofsted found to be “Outstanding” earlier this year) and now John Roan judged glowingly in 2013. Like John Roan, Invicta had been judged to be only “satisfactory” at its previous inspection, in 2011.

Our other local secondary school, Thomas Tallis, was judged to be “good” by Ofsted in 2010 (like John Roan, while rebuilding work was underway – the school moved to new buildings in 2011). Blackheath Bluecoat School, another nearby secondary , was judged “good” by Ofsted inspectors in May 2013, which is a testament to the staff and students’ dedication in the run-up to the school’s closure in September 2014. Halstow Primary School was judged to be “Outstanding” when it was last inspected by Ofsted in 2007. John Ball (just over the border in Lewisham) was judged “Outstanding” in November, and is due to expand from two to three forms of entry in 2015.

The John Roan School is on schedule to have all its building and refurbishment work finished by September 2014. And it is now looking more likely that Invicta School will get a new building.

I hope it is not too long before all three of our thriving state schools – John Roan, Thomas Tallis and Invicta – get buildings as good as their pupils and teachers.

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2 Responses to Congratulations to The John Roan – another good local school

  1. Pingback: Invicta School’s rebuilding moves a step closer | Blackheath Westcombe Labour

  2. Pingback: After 16 years as a Labour councillor in Blackheath and Westcombe Park, Alex Grant says thank you and goodbye | Blackheath Westcombe Labour

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