Teesdale School's Journey

Excellence at the heart of the Dale

Teesdale School and Sixth Form was sponsored by the Trust having received a 'requires improvement' judgement from Ofsted. Within three years that judgment was flipped to outstanding with the school now a beacon of educational excellence in the North East.


Performance outcomes at Teesdale are now some of the very highest in the region with the cherry on the cake a much coveted Sunday Times best North East state secondary school award in 2019.

The leadership implemented a huge focus on developing high quality teaching and learning with priority given to improving attendance rates and safeguarding procedures.Better SEND provision was developed along with re-configured pastoral care so that students were ready to learn. This included the creation of a dedicated pastoral centre - the Laurea Centre.The school day was changed and timetabling restructured to better facilitate learning. Clear parameters for behaviour and conduct were also quickly established.A sixth form centre was created with designated study areas. The curriculum was restructured to introduce design technology, religious education and food technology. 2016 Sponsorship Teesdale School and Sixth Form sponsored by the Trust. Learning environment Immediate investment was made in improving the ageing school building with a full programme of remedial works, redecoration and new furnishing undertaken. Refurbishing each classroom to the same high standard was a key focus, as well as re-working the music rooms and DT workshops to make them fit for purpose. Branding and uniform To symbolise a fresh start the school brand was refreshed and a new website, social media channels and uniform were launched. Given the level of ongoing change, good communication with parents and the local community was strategically important so news and updates were regularly published. Resources Curriculum Teaching and learning Technology The school’s IT systems were on the verge of collapse, so they were given a complete overhaul with an new network/IT infrastructure installed including new computers and interactive whiteboards. With text books in particular lacking in many areas, all subjects were given the proper resources they needed. Further environmental changes The school field was a safeguarding concern so it was secured with a new perimeter fence. Dining areas were reworked to facilitate smoother lunch times. 2018 2019 Ofsted ‘Outstanding The school’s first inspection as a NELT school resulted in a glowing Ofsted report that judged it to be ‘outstanding’. Inspectors stated that: “The North East Learning Trust has brought its considerable capacity to bear. The trust has provided the financial and professional impetus needed to rapidly improve the school.” Staff development The school’s CPD programme was overhauled with a focus on training and empowering existing leaders as well as ‘talent spotting’ future senior and middle leaders and developing their skills with support from Trust SLEs. Sunday Times Award Later the same year, The Sunday Times named Teesdale School and Sixth Form as its North East state secondary school of the year. 2019 Culture A culture of learning and aspiration was ignited from day one with the planned trajectory of the school made very clear. The executive headteacher went as far as stating her aspiration and belief that the school would become the best in the county in the local press.