‘Outstanding’ review shows why middle schools are special places, says Leighton Buzzard headteacher

Leighton Middle School has received a glowing Challenge Partner Review which rated the school as ‘Outstanding’ in all areas.

This most recent review, conducted on February 27 through to the March 1, saw the school move forward from the previous rating of ‘Good’ from both Ofsted and Challenge Partners.

'Outstanding' Leighton Middle School

'Outstanding' Leighton Middle School

The school was praised by the review team who agreed that it was ‘Outstanding’ in all areas and further predicted that it would be so in the next Ofsted inspection.

The Challenge Partner review team was led by an experienced Ofsted inspector and senior leaders from other parts of the country.

Challenge Partners’ quality assurance and assessment is built around a professionally-led peer review focused on the quality and depth of all aspects of teaching and learning. Specific areas of focus were: school improvement strategies, pupil outcomes, quality of teaching, learning and assessment and the overall effectiveness of the school and the team were universal in their judgement: ‘Outstanding’ for each.

To be reviewed as an outstanding institution a school must provide exceptionally well for all of its pupils’ needs and leave them well equipped for the next stage of their education.

Reviewers heaped praise upon the school, pupils and leaders with one reviewer commenting: “The three tier system has significant strengths over the two tier system and is of real benefit for the pupils – I feel like moving to Leighton Buzzard!”

The report praised the work of staff, the impeccable behaviour of the students and the efforts of head teacher and senior leadership team, who have continued to drive forward high standards.

As a result of this, the 2018 SATS results were the school’s best ever, being in the top 20% of schools nationally with similar predictions for the forthcoming examinations.

Headteacher Claire Vallance said: “This is a remarkable achievement and we are thrilled with the outcome. Middle schools are special places. You can’t put on a performance so what the team saw was a true reflection of our school.”

Whilst Michael Howe, the Chair of Governors, said that he was incredibly happy with the review. “This is the culmination of the determination and hard work of a staff, students and governors.”