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Frome College: aiming high after official thumbs up

FROME Community College is celebrating a remarkable transformation after being rated as ‘good’ just 17 months after they were rated as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted officials. 

Principal Gavin Ball had only been at the helm seven weeks when the school was given a status of inadequate in October 2012 which prompted the school to rethink its teaching and learning practices in a bid to improve its rating.

Following the release of the recent positive result Gavin Ball told Frome Times, “I am really pleased with the new grading. I felt the original grading was a bit unfair but after three satisfactory visits from Ofsted we had just slipped into the unsatisfactory grading.

“Nevertheless we decided to completely overhaul our teaching methods and re-evaluated the way we tracked the students’ progress in a bid to improve performance.

“Originally we were told that we would be reassessed 18 months after the inadequate grading, but due to our improvement they were out within 15 months and we were delighted to get the rating as ‘good’, but the hard work does not stop here.

“The challenge is to push on as we want to become an outstanding school which we think we can achieve. We have already had feedback that we are outstanding in many areas so now it is about making that next step.

“We feel like we owe it to Frome to have a school that represents how great the town is and the latest rating has given us the confidence to push on. We want Frome to become an outstanding town, have an outstanding school and to produce outstanding young people.”

Ofsted reported, “The school has made rapid improvements in the quality of teaching and students’ achievement because of the good leadership provided by the school’s senior leaders. The principal provides outstanding leadership.”

They described the college as a “vibrant school” where students play a full part in the many and varied opportunities open to them.

“Behaviour in lessons and around the school is good and pupils feel safe,” said Ofsted. “They have positive attitudes to learning and want to do well. They are very appreciative of the improvements that the school has made. And the school was only two points away from achieving an ‘outstanding’ rating.”