Ofsted inspectors hail progress of Misbourne School in Great Missenden

Bucks Free Press: Misbourne headteacher Robert Preston with pupils Misbourne headteacher Robert Preston with pupils

INSPECTORS said the turnaround at a previously failing school was the quickest they had ever seen after awarding them a 'good' rating.

Less than two years ago the Misbourne School in Great Missenden was in special measures, with a damning 2010 Ofsted inspection saying it was failing to provide pupils with an "acceptable standard of education".

The inspection body's latest report, released this week, gave the school a 'good' rating - the second highest grading possible - after saying some of its teaching was outstanding.

When he was appointed headteacher in June 2011, Robert Preston set his staff the challenge to reach the highest outstanding grade within five years - and now he says they are ahead of schedule in his plan.

Mr Preston - who had worked at six schools placed into special measures in the eight years prior to his appointment at the Misbourne - said: "The inspectors said, to their knowledge, no school had made such progress in such a short period of time. I'm really excited by what we've achieved.

"The general plan I set for the school two years ago wasn't about getting out of special measures - we'd planned the journey to outstanding. We are just ahead of schedule.

"The criteria has changed in the last two years so it's far more difficult to get good, let alone anything else."

Mr Preston sent a letter to parents to inform them of the report results and a separate one to pupils to congratulate them and express his pride in their achievements.

The Ofsted report said students' attitudes to learning in was 'extremely good' and 'achievement is good and rising rapidly'.

It said: "Teaching is good overall with some that is outstanding because leadership of this is exemplary. This is having a positive impact on the attainment and progress of all students."

Mr Preston said: "We've worked hard on all aspects - teaching's just one of them.

"I know where we need to be focussing, which is on teaching and learning. We have a very clear plan about how we are going to work to make teachers better than they are.

"We've got some fantastic teachers here. The students have responded fantastically. They are the best students who want the best, and we are giving them the best.

"We share everything with students and staff. It's the Misbourne family - I'm a great person for family values."

The report added: "The headteacher, together with senior leaders and the governing body, knows the school well and has a very clear vision for the future of The Misbourne. They enjoy the strong support of staff, students and parents in pursuing high aspirations and expectations for students in both their academic achievement and behaviour. The school sets itself very demanding targets."

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