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.
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.
Teesdale School and Sixth Form sponsored
by the Trust.
L earning e n vi r onme n t
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.
r anding and uni f orm
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.
esou r c es
T eaching and learning
T echnolog y
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.
urthe r e n vi r onme n ta l 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.
t ed ‘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.”
t a ff d e v elopme n t
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.
a y Times A w a r d
Later the same year, The Sunday Times
named Teesdale School and Sixth Form as its North East state secondary school of the year.
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.