BHS wins the Exceptional Schools Award!
Leading grammar Beaconsfield High School has joined a prestigious group of only 45 schools nationwide to be recognised as an Exceptional School by the national body Best Practice Network.
The Exceptional Schools Award exemplifies the excellence and uniqueness of outstanding schools, including the quality and consistency of teaching that Ofsted now expects, and is based on the attributes and practice of the best schools nationally. Run by the Best Practice Network, an established and well-respected organisation used by the Government, it includes a 360° online survey of stakeholders that provides a unique insight into the effectiveness of the school’s provision. This accredited stakeholder view demonstrates to Ofsted that a school is held in high regard, which is a key element of any Ofsted review.
Headteacher Rachel Smith (Right) and Chair of Governors Lorraine Couves (Left)
receive the ESA certificate from Mayor of Beaconsfield Cllr Anita Cranmer (centre)
Since receiving Outstanding from Ofsted in 2007, the school has worked hard to maintain that level and even improve on its standards, and wanted to assess its standard by undertaking the Exceptional Schools review. Senior consultants for the Best Practice Network, who themselves have held senior education roles, including Director of Education, and undertake contracts with the Department for Education, undertook the review in two stages.
Firstly, the Best Practice Network surveyed more than 1,000 key stakeholders from the school, including students, staff and parents, with 100 broad-ranging questions developed from the Ofsted framework and reviews of schools with two or more Outstanding scores. In order to progress to the second stage of live audit there is a minimum standard to be reached, which requires all stakeholders to mark each element of the survey at 6/10 or above. There are many schools that do not progress past the first stage, but with Beaconsfield High School achieving more than 80% it was able to strive for the award.
The results of the survey were collated and the consultants determined the areas that needed to be reviewed more closely during the audit. At the beginning of July 2018 they met with a group of the school’s parents and students, observed lessons, and checked marking, feedback and assessments. Once the audit was complete the school received a report, which firstly confirmed that the school had achieved Exceptional status, but then provided areas to focus on for even greater improvement, making the experience not only one of assessment but also the chance to challenge and evolve, and of course to build further on stakeholder satisfaction.
Heather Clements, Senior Consultant for Best Practice Network, commented on the school after her review: “The accreditation process has shown not only that Beaconsfield High School is an ‘Exceptional School’, but that it is also highly ambitious, forward looking and puts the attainment and wellbeing of students at the heart of all it does. The findings of the review demonstrate that it is held in high regard by all its stakeholders and the students themselves are its best ambassadors.”
Rachel Smith, Headteacher, comments: “We are so incredibly proud to have been awarded the Exceptional Schools Award and to have met the standard of schools that have been judged as Ofsted Outstanding at least twice. This is yet another validation of the remarkable nature of the school and further proves what exceptional students and staff make up our community. We look forward to building on this success and developing an exceptionally remarkable school!”
Earlier in the year, Beaconsfield High School celebrated achieving the prestigious Governor Mark award, a national award and a recognised kite mark of good practice. It provides external evaluation of the quality of governance in a school and is an opportunity to demonstrate how a governing body strives for excellence. The work involved in gaining the award supports ongoing board evaluation and continuous improvement, and this was a key reason why the school’s governing body decided to apply for the award.
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