Ellowes Hall Sports College OFTSED Inspection

Dear Ellowes Hall Sports College,

I write to you to inform you of the outcome of the recent OFSTED inspection at Ellowes Hall Sports College.

This letter is for Ellowes Hall Sports College and all school stakeholders:

  • Students
  • Parents
  • Carers
  • Teachers
  • Support Staff
  • Trust Staff
  • School Partners
  • Community
  • Department for Education

The above list is in no particular order, apart from the students, our first and most important value is ‘Everyday, in every way, our students come first’. It is with them in the forefront of my mind that this letter is written, but the message is for the thousands of people connected to our school in many ways.

OFSTED inspected the school recently, the first time they have inspected us since 2012. Under the new OFSTED guidance, we received the judgement of ‘Requires Improvement’.

There are several factors that we should consider before we begin our journey back to outstanding, but the important message for you all is:

We are not happy with this outcome, whatever the measure we aim to be the best and before we blame circumstance and external factors, we will first look internally and question ourselves and our processes before we create a plan to deliver outstanding outcomes for the most important people, our students.

OFSTED are often criticised for the scrutiny and pressure that schools find themselves under to ‘tick boxes’ but we understand the difficulty in measuring a school’s performance with a huge variety of factors to consider, it is a very difficult task, and ultimately OFSTED want the same thing as we do, the best for our children. The biggest difficulty lies in the diversity of the nation and we firmly believe in first doing what is best for OUR community.

Although on this occasion we have fallen short of the benchmarks set by OFSTED we do truly believe that we are a great school, we believe this because we have great students who are taught by great staff and over the coming months we will need to demonstrate great resilience as we begin our journey back to outstanding.

On behalf of the Trust I would like to thank Alan Jasper for the critical role that he has played in making Ellowes Hall Sports College one of the best in the borough for over a decade. Year after year we have been oversubscribed, including this year. Year after year we have delivered great outcomes for our students. Year after year we have delivered unique opportunities and elite experiences for our students and year after year we have found ways of investing in our schools’ facilities to ensure we have an excellent environment for our students.  Alan leaves the school in a much better place than he found it 20 years ago, we thank him for his service and wish him all the best in the future.

Alan’s decision does open the door to an exciting new era at Ellowes Hall Sports College. The recruitment process to replace Alan is already complete. There was no shortage of candidates desperate to lead our great school and the Board and I have had the difficult but rewarding task of appointing the right person to lead Ellowes Hall Sports College.

We welcome on board our new headteacher Mrs Carla Leslie. Mrs Leslie is aware of the brief for her new role, improve the effectiveness of leadership at Ellowes Hall Sports College and ensure the education on offer is good or better. Mrs Leslie cannot wait to get started.

My final sentiment is this, I would call for all parents and carers that have entrusted us with their child’s learning and development to remain calm and continue to support and trust us. We have consistently delivered outcomes in line with and above national average and our data supports this.

The measure we hold in the highest regard is the progress of our students, and we are not happy with the Progress 8 score we received in 2019 and plans are in place to address this, but to offer balance, our Attainment 8 was above national average.

There will be no panic on our part, just a thorough review of our processes and a demand for ourselves to deliver more for our students through strong and effective leadership.

I would also like a to add a message for the staff at Ellowes Hall Sports College. We are all disappointed with the outcome of the inspection, we should acknowledge that there were many positive areas that inspectors commented on, in the new criteria our personal development and Sixth Form were rated as ‘Good’. More importantly are the quotes regarding our students ‘relationships between students and staff is purposeful and relaxed, and students enjoy coming to school’. This is a great foundation for us to build on, you will be supported by the school’s and Trust’s leaders and together we will create an outstanding environment for our students.

Every day, in every way our students come first.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding our OFSTED report please send them to ellowes@invictus.education your comments will be discussed with Mrs Leslie and the leadership team and responded to at the earliest convenience. The full OFSTED report is available on the OFSTED page of our website.

Please click here for a copy of the covering letter from current headteacher Mr Jasper

Yours sincerely,

Tony Bowles

CEO – Invictus Education Trust

Click here for a digital copy of this letter