Ofsted inspectors label Chichester Free School ‘good’

Guy Martyn (centre) as the Free School prepared to open in 2013
Guy Martyn (centre) as the Free School prepared to open in 2013

STUDENTS and teachers are celebrating after the Chichester Free School’s first Ofsted report.

The school opened in 2013 and the recent inspection was its first official government grading.

It was ranked as ‘good’ across the board, with principal Guy Martyn coming in for praise for overcoming the challenges of setting up a new school.

“It is every head teacher’s dream to be able to start up a new school,” he said. “I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised how hard the school, teachers, governors, pupils, and parents, have worked to create a school of which we are all proud and in which the students are flourishing.”

“The principal has managed the many challenges of establishing a new school with resilience and a determined focus on pupils’ education,” said the Ofsted report.

The school opened in 2013 with 210 pupils in reception and Year 1, Year 3, Year 7 and Year 8.

In September, 2015, a Year 4 group will also be added, taking the total number to 570.

Chairman of governors Stephen King also welcomed the report.

“Our aim at Chichester Free School has always been to provide a first-class education delivered by passionate, professional staff,” he said. “On behalf of all of the governors, I would like to say that I am incredibly proud of the team and that to go from a standing start to a ‘good’ grade in just two years of operation is a phenomenal achievement.”

Ofsted was effusive in its praise of the school’s leadership.

“The principal has managed the creation of a new school, with the strong support of the governing body, with resilience. Despite the multiple practical demands on his time, he is determined to ensure that the quality of pupils’ education is the key priority,” said the inspectors.

Quality of teaching, leadership, behaviour, pupils’ achievement, early-years provision were all graded ‘good’.

Ofsted said the school fell just short of ‘outstanding’, citing the fact ‘not all teachers give pupils effective feedback that helps them make rapid progress’, also adding systems for monitoring progress and quality of teaching were not as strong in the primary phase as the secondary phase.

To read the full report, visit reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/139668

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