Oustanding Results for Fulham Schools

Hurlingham and Chelsea and Bridge Academy highly praised

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Phil Cross, head at Hurlingham and Chelsea School
Dr Phil Cross

Hurlingham and Chelsea School

The Bridge Academy

Education and Learning in Hammersmith and Fulham

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Hurlingham and Chelsea School has undergone an impressive turnaround, with its rating from Ofsted changing from 'failing' to 'outstanding'.

Seven years ago it was a very different picture at Hurlingham & Chelsea as the school had just been placed in special measures after a damning inspection found unacceptably low standards including sub-standard teaching, poor attendance, negative attitudes and bad pupil behaviour.

These factors, combined with council scepticism about how long it would take to turn the school around, saw the local authority embark on a public consultation that could have resulted in the school closing.

However, the support the school received convinced the council to withdraw this proposal and today the 600 place school in Peterborough Road has been given a glowing report, with students gaining "an outstanding quality of education" and making "remarkable progress".

As a result of the transformation, the school is now "held in very high regard by students, parents and carers, staff and members of the local community".

The latest Ofsted report praises head teacher Phil Cross's leadership as "outstanding" - a feat made all the more impressive by the diversity celebrated by the school where, 50 per cent of students speak English as an additional language, and there are an above-average number qualify for free school meals.

More controversially, a new Sands End community library, staffed by volunteers, is to be based within the school by early next year.

This result for Hurlingham & Chelsea School means that six of the borough's nine secondary schools are now officially in the top category.

Staff and pupils at referral unit the Bridge Academy have also been given an outstanding rating by a team from Challenge Partners, who visited the Finlay Road academy for two days, carrying out joint observations, talking to staff and learners, looking at work and reviewing all aspects of life at the school.

Their report praised the academy, which provides for up to 175 learners who have been exclused from mainstream education, saying it " has a well deserved reputation locally, regionally and nationally and the Executive Headteacher alongside other members of the school staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that the school is regarded as a Centre of Excellence."

And it concluded: "The Bridge Academy appears to be firmly within the Oustanding grade as judged by Ofsted in June 2010."

You can read the report in full at head teacher Seamus Oates' blog.