Surrey college needs improvement according to Ofsted report

A Surrey school where pupils expressed “frustration about the disrespectful and boisterous behaviour” of their peers has been told it must improve by Ofsted inspectors.
Thomas Knyvett College. Credit: Google Street ViewThomas Knyvett College. Credit: Google Street View
Thomas Knyvett College. Credit: Google Street View

Thomas Knyvett College was visited by the education watchdog in November 2023 with the results published on Wednesday, January 10. Inspectors downgraded the school from Good, the second best rating, to Needs Improvement, the second worst.

It was the first time Thomas Kynvett, which is in the process of recruiting a permanent principal, had been inspected since the covid-19 pandemic. The report read: “Not all pupils behave well in lessons and around the school during break times. Learning can also be disrupted, meaning pupils do not always learn as much as they could.

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“Leaders must raise expectations of pupils’ behaviour and ensure that all staff consistently implement the school’s behaviour policy.”

Thomas Knyvett College Inspection Report (image Ofsted)Thomas Knyvett College Inspection Report (image Ofsted)
Thomas Knyvett College Inspection Report (image Ofsted)

It added: “Some pupils express a frustration about the disrespectful and boisterous behaviour of a smaller number of their peers in corridors during social times.

“However, pupils recognise that most staff are trying to address this with increasing consistency.”

Inspectors did witness efforts being made to turn things around at the Stanwell Road, Ashford, school, with staff maintaining a strong culture be a fully inclusive to “bring out the best” in pupils. They also noted “significant improvements” to increasing the number of pupils attending school regularly.

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However there was still much to do, according to the report, with teachers not always addressing disruption or disengagement quickly enough which meant “too many pupils refuse the reasonable requests of staff” which could have a disrupting affect on others. The school is run by the multi-academy Howard Partnership Trust. It has undergone “a number of changes to the senior leadership” since the pandemic and currently uses six alternative education providers.

The school also runs its own alternative provision, with spaces for up to 10 pupils. Following the Ofsted publication, the college wrote to parents encouraging them to read the report in full.

The letter read: “Overall, Thomas Knyvett College has been judged as a school which ‘Requires Improvement’ with ‘Good’ leadership and management.

“The leadership judgement recognised that effective plans are in place for school improvement and that leaders at all levels are working towards these.

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“While we acknowledge that the overall judgement is disappointing, we should note that our last inspection was carried out under a different framework and Ofsted’s expectations have increased.

“The criteria inspectors use to make their judgement under the current version of Ofsted’s Inspection Framework, came into effect in September 2019.”

It continued: “Every child deserves to attend a ‘Good’ school, and our robust plans will ensure that Thomas Knyvett College improves rapidly, well in advance of Ofsted’s next inspection.

Work will continue on the areas for development noted by Ofsted: consistency in the application of the behaviour management policy, increasing the uptake of modern foreign languages at GCSE, therefore increasing curriculum breadth at Key Stage 4, and the full implementation of our work to improve the curriculum.”