School’s progress recognised by Ofsted

Headteacher Sam Vickers with pupils.
Headteacher Sam Vickers with pupils.

A school which was branded ‘inadequate’ less than a year ago has been recognised for making ‘rapid progress’ by Ofsted.

Batley Business and Enterprise College (BBEC), which is soon to be known as Upper Batley High School, have received the good news after a follow-up HMI inspection by the regulatory body on June 25.

The report, which will be formally released in the coming days, says that teacher marking is “much improved”, students say behaviour among their peers is better, and that the headteacher and senior leadership team have managed the turbulence of staff turnover which previously afflicted the all boys’ school.

All three issues were points of reference when Ofsted gave the secondary, on Batley Field Hill, the lowest possible grade following a visit by inspectors in October 2014.

But there is praise for staff and students on this occasion, with the school credited with creating a “growing culture of aspiration” and lauded for its anti-radicalisation programme - which was introduced in the wake of a number of young British Muslims fleeing the country to join ISIS in the Middle East.

Head teacher Sam Vickers, who took over the school nine months ago with a stated aim of turning the school into an ‘Outstanding’ one, said: “We are thrilled by the report and staff are elated.

“This has been a real team effort from the new leadership team, staff and students. They really have turned it around. We always say in assembly ‘together everyone achieves more’, which spells out ‘team’ and we knew we could only turn round the school if we worked together.”

The school will change its name in September, with the intention of ending the misconception that the school is a further education college.

Ms Vickers added that this would contribute to the school’s improving mood: “We talk about having a buzz around the school and it’s just on a real high at the moment. The students chose the new name and designed the school’s new logo, uniform and a PE kit, which they can’t wait to try out for the first time in September. We are expecting improved GCSE results this year as well so if we all come back in September with that behind us then that will really keep the buzz going.”