Seventeen Years of OfSTED Success

Inspections  Staff, governors, parents and pupils at William Barnes have been celebrating seventeen years of good OfSTED inspection reports following the latest visit in March by Her Majesty’s Inspectors for Schools. 

William Barnes has now been a successful school in the eyes of OfSTED since 2000, having completed five consecutive successful inspections.  This is a remarkable achievement.  If you look at the records of schools both locally and nationally over the last two decades, most schools have a period when they have fallen into the satisfactory category (currently labelled “requires improvement”).  Some schools will have been through very difficult times and may have been graded as “special measures” or “serious weaknesses”.   However, at no point in the last twenty years or so has this happened at William Barnes. As a result, the school has been able to offer the children and families of Sturminster Newton a stable school environment which has provided a consistently high quality of education in the long term. In the last three years, and under the strong leadership of head teacher Mrs Karen Wrixon, the school has continued to respond to moving goal posts and raised expectations from the government and is proud to have maintained its status as a good school despite many challenges.

Whole Staff’s Hard Work Pays Off  All the staff at William Barnes are dedicated professionals who work long hours during term time to produce the best possible outcomes for the children.  The school car park is normally half full with the staff’s cars at 7.30 in the morning, and teachers often continue their marking and planning in the evening and at weekends.  Teaching assistants often arrive early, work lunch times and then stay on after school to complete various tasks such as putting up displays or preparing activities.  The governing body, ably chaired by Maria Dixon also do a tremendous amount to support the school.  All this effort has been worth while following the school’s successful OfSTED inspection.

Leadership Singled Out for Praise  The report heaps praise on headteacher Karen Wrixon whose leadership has allowed the school to maintain a good quality of education.  Particularly noteworthy are the school’s safeguarding arrangements, described as “sensitive and comprehensive” which allow “the most vulnerable children” to receive appropriate support.  Similar praise is heaped on the school’s arrangements for children with special education needs who are “challenged effectively as they go through the school.”