Statement to families, NHS Trusts, home schools and partners from OHS headteacher Angela Ransby
14th September 2017
Oxfordshire Hospital School rated Outstanding by Ofsted
Dear pupils, parents, staff and partners,
It is with great joy that I can announce that a full re-inspection of the OHS by Ofsted has judged our school to be Outstanding in all areas.
In its report, published today, Ofsted praises the high quality of our teaching, the splendid opportunities available to our pupils, and the excellent progress they make at our school. Inspectors also highlight the effectiveness of our leadership teams and safeguarding practices, and the culture of cooperation and dedication that prevails throughout the school.
The judgement comes after a new inspection was carried out in July this year, nine months after a previous visit by inspectors identified a lack of consistency in the way we were creating and sharing pupil records with external agencies. At that time, Ofsted’s findings related to records of pupils attending the school’s outreach centre and forced inspectors to give us an overall ranking of inadequate, despite standards of teaching and learning being rated outstanding across the school.
I’m very pleased to confirm that the new report identifies that these weaknesses were quickly and definitively eradicated and that safeguarding measures are now highly effective.
The high quality of the teaching we provide has never been brought into question by either inspection, but the fact that Ofsted has recognised our tremendous hard work in improving the way we communicate with each other and with our partners, and the way that this has united us is a source of great delight and satisfaction.
Today feels like a rebirth for the OHS; a reawakening of the whole school, now working as one highly effective body of outstanding teaching.
In truth, we are a better organisation now than we were nine months ago, and that comes down to every member of the team pulling out all the stops to create a more cohesive, joined-up organisation, working as one school without the boundaries that come from teaching across multiple locations. Everyone, including teachers, teaching assistants, managers and support staff, has shown immense bravery and openness in accepting new ways of working while all the time remaining completely dedicated to the needs of our pupils.
Throughout this period of considerable change and under significant pressure, the spirit and integrity of the OHS has proved unshakable. Our core strength lies in our determination to do the best job we can for every single pupil in our school – every minute, every hour, every day. We have no agenda other than providing the best teaching to children in Oxfordshire.
In practical terms, investment in a transformational IT system created by educational technology consultancy the eLearning team has changed the way our teachers and managers share knowledge and document their conversations. In turn, this had had a hugely positive impact on the culture of the school. With the infrastructure now in place to enable meaningful face-to-face discussions between colleagues who can’t meet in person, we have reached a new level of agility and accountability in the way we work. Culturally, our teams are no longer defined by location: they are all working for one school and can be deployed to any part of the school in order to meet the educational needs of every pupil.
It’s also important to point out how vital our relationship with Oxfordshire County Council has been in the last nine months. They have shared their time and expertise generously and opened up a network of advice and support that has been instrumental in helping us to work our way towards this judgement.
Ultimately, Ofsted’s judgement has liberated us. It means we can now move on as a unified school, to do the things we believe in as one of the most successful providers of education for children with medical needs in the UK.
Angela Ransby, Headteacher