School is named as 'top of the class'
PUBLISHED: 16:53 25 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:18 11 August 2010
A DAGENHAM school has been praised for the tough discipline that turned it from a failing school into one of the best comprehensives in the country. Robert Clack is one of a dozen highlighted in Twelve outstanding secondary schools a new report from sch
A DAGENHAM school has been praised for the tough discipline that turned it from a failing school into one of the best comprehensives in the country.
Robert Clack is one of a dozen highlighted in 'Twelve outstanding secondary schools' a new report from school inspectors Ofsted.
Head teacher Paul Grant famously excluded 300 trouble-makers in his first week in charge and personally drove the school mini bus around the streets to pick up truants.
GCSE results are now among the best in the borough and the school is heavily over-subscribed.
Ofsted's report lists twelve schools in poorer urban areas that managed to transform the low academic achievement and poor behaviour among pupils.
Each school has also managed to attain at least two consecutive 'outstanding' Ofsted reports.
Robert Clack School, where low attendance and poor behaviour among pupils was endemic, has transformed its reputation and received 'Outstanding' reports for three years in a row.
The report found that the schools had succeeded through strong leadership, high targets, staff training and active engagement with pupils.
In his first six months as head teacher at Robert Clack, Paul Grant toured the school site and classrooms, disciplined pupils and spoke to parents.
He drove around in the school's minibus to look for truants and excluded 300 pupils in his first week to improve behaviour and low attendance figures of 70 per cent.
At staff meetings with teachers, he announced that routine lesson observations and tighter duties for teachers would be introduced.
Mr Grant said: "I am delighted that the achievements of our children, parents and staff have been given outstanding status by Ofsted.
"We are very proud of our borough and our honoured to be mentioned in the Ofsted report.
"This is a great moment in the education of our children in Barking and Dagenham and this award symbolises the progress all schools have made in recent times."
Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert said: "These schools show that excellence doesn't happen by chance.
"It is due to the vision and conviction of their leaders and the inspired, effective teams they have built.
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