Inspectors have praised dramatic improvements at St Matthias School as they rated it “Good” following a recent inspection.
The school – previously known as Deansfield Community School – was placed into special measures after being rated inadequate by Ofsted following an inspection two years ago.
But under the leadership of Headteacher Dean Coombes, St Matthias has made rapid progress, leading to much improved outcomes for the school’s 475 pupils. Pupils and staff are also enjoying learning and teaching in their fantastic new accommodation which was developed as part of the City of Wolverhampton Council's £270m Building Schools for the Future programme.
Inspectors who visited the school last month found that Mr Coombes’ drive to improve the school had "galvanised leaders to ensure teaching improved rapidly" with "a real transformation in the effectiveness of leadership at all levels”.
Leaders have embraced change and introduced new systems which have "significantly improved outcomes for pupils." At the same time, rigorous monitoring is ensuring that any underperformance is tackled quickly and effectively.
Teaching is "significantly improving the progress pupils make", with students performing well in a range of subjects, particularly English. Pupils' attitudes to learning and punctuality are also much improved.
Staff say they are proud to work at St Matthias, while parents have a high level of confidence in the school’s ability to provide their children with a good education. Indeed, every single one of the 152 parents who completed a survey for Ofsted said they would recommend the school to others.
Inspectors also praised the work of the governing body, saying its members had a "depth of relevant experience and expertise that benefits the school" and were providing leaders with "systematic and well-informed critical challenge".
And they concluded that "the move to the new school building, the new smart school uniform, new approaches to behaviour plus the high expectations of staff” mean that pupils are “proud to be members of St Matthias School."
Mr Coombes said: “This is a very pleasing report. Students and Staff at St Matthias are hardworking and talented. They deserve to be in a good school and I’m pleased that Ofsted has recognised their achievements."
Julien Kramer, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Director of Education, said: "The turnaround at St Matthias has been dramatic and sustained – and that is testament to the hard work of Dean Coombes and his staff, the pupils, parents and governors.
"I'm particularly pleased at the improved outcomes pupils are now achieving. The proportion of most-able pupils making good progress compares very positively with national averages, and St Matthias is now in the top 10 nationally for the proportion of lower ability pupils who gain five or more GCSEs at grades C and above.
“This is fantastic news for everyone connected with St Matthias, and for the city as a whole. We now have more good and outstanding rated schools than ever before, and are seeing education standards rising across the board – and our School Standards Team will continue to offer support and challenge to schools to help them improve further.”
The new-look St Matthias School opened for the first time in September 2015, and boasts a three-storey building offering flexible teaching spaces which can be adapted to suit a variety of teaching styles.
It also has a fully equipped food technology room, several dining spaces and new sports facilities with a variety of full sized courts.
Over the last five years, Wolverhampton’s Building Schools for the Future programme has transformed secondary education facilities across the city, giving students high-tech environments to engage and inspire young people, their families and the wider community.