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Tuesday, 8 February, 2000, 11:16 GMT
Improved secondary schools

The re-inspection of secondary schools has led Ofsted to identify those which it says have shown excellent improvement since the first round of inspections.

"The schools below stand out amongst the many that have improved their quality of education and the standards achieved by pupils," says the chief inspector, Chris Woodhead.

Click here for the full list

The Netherhall School, Cambridge. LEA: Cambridgeshire

The Netherhall is one of the secondary schools highlighted by Ofsted as showing excellent improvement, after an inspection report last year suggested no key issues for action.

The school's headteacher, Graham Silverthorne, says he is thrilled that his hardworking staff have been rewarded with such recognition.

However, he says that despite its inclusion on the "most improved" list, the school's achievements were not previously low.

pupils in canteen Graham Silverthorne says pupils are well looked after

"We are a comprehensive school in the true sense of the word. We have 37 first languages in the school - I hadn't even heard of some of them. Cambridge is very ethnically diverse, with the university and hospitals.

"Last year, 66% of our pupils passed five or more GCSEs with grades A* to C, and we had a 97% pass rate at A-level.

"The GCSE pass rate has never been really low - it was still up in the 50s a few years ago. But we have to push on. I don't think any school can be satisfied with less than 100%."

The school, which has about 1,500 pupils aged between 11 and 18, is currently working on a bid for specialist sports status.

Mr Silverthorne is refusing to take any credit for its inclusion on Ofsted's list, as he only took up his position in September.

But he says there are three main reasons behind its success: a very strong system for looking after children's well-being, outstanding teaching staff, and high parental expectations.

"I don't think there is a magic potion, it's more of a chemical balance with lots of people doing the right things," he said.

"It's been very nice to be able to tell the staff and say 'Well done', as they don't get a lot of credit for what they do."

Name LEA
Archbishop Tenison's School, London Lambeth
Brixham Community College, Brixham Torbay
Claverham Community College, Battle East Sussex
Coombe Girls' School, New Malden Kingston-upon-Thames
Counthill School, Moorside Oldham
Djanogly City Technology College, Sherwood Rise Nottingham, City of
Dormers Wells High School, Southall Ealing
Fair Oak High School, Rugeley Staffordshire
Greenford High School, Greenford Ealing
Honley High School and College, Honley Kirklees
Huxlow School, Irthlingborough Northamptonshire
Kings Norton Girls' School, Birmingham Birmingham
Lawrence Sheriff School, Rugby Warwickshire
Litcham High School, Litcham Norfolk
Nidderdale High School and Community College, Pateley Bridge North Yorkshire
Ravens Wood School, Bromley Bromley
Rosecroft School, Loftus Redcar and Cleveland
Rushey Mead School, Leicester Leicester City
Sir John Cass Foundation and Redcoat CE School, London Tower Hamlets
St John the Baptist Catholic Comprehensive School, Woking Surrey
Stoke Newington School, Hackney Hackney
Stopsley High School, Luton Luton
The Charles Dickens School, Broadstairs Kent
The Hermitage School, Chester-le-Street Durham
The King David High School, Crumpsall Manchester
The Netherhall School, Cambridge Cambridgeshire
The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic High School, Wealdstone Harrow
Turves Green Girls' School and Technology College, Northfield Birmingham
Westhoughton High School, Westhoughton Bolton

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Mike Baker

See also:
08 Feb 00 |  Features
Some of the best schools
08 Feb 00 |  Education
School strategies 'paying off'

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