Testbourne - an outstanding school!

“Yes it is official. Testbourne is outstanding!”, said Hillary Jackson, the headteacher at Testbourne Community School.

The school just achieved an ‘OUTSTANDING‘ rating by the school regulator OFSTED in their most recent inspection, which took place in early November. They were rated as ‘Good’ last time, in May 2007.

The full report about the quality of the school is published on the OFSTED website – available by clicking HERE.

On Monday the 8th November, Testbourne got the call from OFSTED: They were to visit on the 11th and 12th November. They spent 2 days interviewing staff, governors and pupils, pouring over evidence and reports, watching the teachers teach and looking at everything in the school. By Friday teatime Testbourne was given a verbal ‘OUTSTANDING’. Results were processed and later published in a report.

Needless to say, the Staff are very very pleased, several Governors and Parents sent in congratulations saying they feel very proud for the school.

Three key sections are graded by OFSTED at each educational or child-care facility, and are marked as ‘Inadequate’, ‘Satisfactory’, ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.

The report included these inspection highlights:

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school? Outstanding
The school’s capacity for sustained improvement Outstanding
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils Outstanding
The effectiveness of leadership and management… Outstanding
The effectiveness of the governing body… Outstanding
The effectiveness of the school’s engagement with parents and carers Outstanding

The OFSTED inspectors praised the headteacher at this “exceptionally well-run school” for her “excellent leadership” and her “relentless focus on improving the school from its good quality at the last inspection.”

The staff under the headteacher were also praised for being a “strong team” which are driving the rise in standards and “maintaining the school’s excellent ethos”.

Students with special education needs and those that are gifted are well catered for says the report: “The provision for gifted and talented students is exemplary in its rigour, planning and application, resulting in high achievement for this group of students throughout the school.”

The report stated that “results in GCSEs are consistently significantly above average, with a considerable rise in the proportion of students attaining A and A* grades in the examinations in 2010”.

The views of parents and carers of children attending Testbourne were high: “A very high proportion of the parents and carers who returned questionnaires expressed complete faith and confidence in the school. They are satisfied that the school prepares their children well for the future, keeps them safe and that they are taught well.”

So, where can Testbourne still find improvements? The main item in a tiny list was this: inconsistent marking. The report stated that “the quality of assessment, notably marking, is inconsistent. Although there is some excellent practice, notably in the most successful subjects such as English, marking varies considerably within and across departments in terms of regularity and quality.”

Facilities in Whitchurch regulated by OFSTED, and their most recent gradings, are:

Facility Date Overall effectiveness Leadership and management Quality and standards Notes
Testbourne 12/11/2010 Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding* *for “school’s capacity for sustained improvement”
Primary School 02/10/2007
2011 HERE
Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory ‘Good’ in 3 sub-areas; Review took place before current headteacher started.
Simply Out Of School 02/04/2009 Good Good Good
Rising Fives Pre-School Group 13/09/2010 Good Good Good
The Oak Tree Nursery & Pre School 17/03/2009 Good Good Good ‘Outstanding’ in 6 sub-areas