Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted for the fourth time running

Frank Barnes School was graded ‘outstanding’ again in its recent Ofsted inspection in March 2017. This is the fourth time the school has been graded Outstanding following inspections in 2006, 2009 and 2012 – but the first time the school has been inspected since moving to brand-new purpose-built premises in the new King’s Cross development.

Karen Simpson, the school’s previous Headteacher for 18 years retired last summer, and a new interim leadership structure was put in place. Dani Sive, Headteacher, and leadership team were praised for maintaining the outstanding quality of education in the school since the last inspection.

The Ofsted HMI also praised the governing body for their support and challenge to the school’s leadership team during the time of significant change. The school was also commended for its strengths in consistently high expectations of pupils and good or outstanding progress due to effective support they receive. Feedback from the inspectors included their observations on the learning activities in the classroom, the pupils’ confidence and their pride in what they achieve.

The support for the families with children who have SEN was praised as well as the school’s safeguarding systems and procedures which were deemed robust and effective. The inspectors mentioned the fact that the school worked closely with “multi-agency teams from a number of Local Authorities to ensure that the pupils’ education, health and care needs are carefully considered and well supported.” Frank Barnes was also praised for the unique and strong links with its co-located mainstream school, Kings Cross Academy; the collaborative work and inclusive practice in the brand new, purpose-built shared premises were highly commended.

Dani Sive, who has been appointed permanent Headteacher from September, said, “I am very pleased and proud that we have achieved this result at a time of a much tougher Ofsted framework. The staff, pupils, parents and governors have given so much support during the transition to an interim school leadership structure for which I am very grateful. It is no surprise that our commitment and dedication to bilingual practice in Deaf education is a reason that our pupils achieve so well, academically, linguistically, socially and emotionally.”

Jeremy Johnson, Chair of Governors, added, I am delighted that Ofsted has, once again, recognised Frank Barnes as an outstanding school with an exceptional leadership team that provides the very best education for Deaf children. The whole Governing Body congratulates the school’s staff on this well-deserved achievement. We are immensely proud of our confident, happy and fulfilled children.”

Parent governor, Nicola Bayley, also said, “I am absolutely delighted that Frank Barnes continues to be an outstanding school following a period of significant change in terms of location and leadership”.

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