Dagenham school gets Ofsted rating upgraded

A struggling East London school has been praised after a report found it had hugely improved.

A new Ofsted report said  the Dagenham primary and secondary school had significantly improved its teaching and set high standards for its pupils.

The last time inspectors went to Eastbrook School in 2018, they found almost every area of the school required improvement.

The report found school governors were ‘over-generous’ in their praise of the school, the teaching was ineffective and its teachers did not have consistently high expectations for their students.

However, a new Ofsted inspection found the school had improved in every area and awarded it a ‘good’ rating – the watchdog’s second-highest rating.

Inspectors said Eastbrook School had successfully implemented a new curriculum for pupils which challenged them and helped them achieve higher grades.

They added the school had also improved its special needs capabilities and  pupils’ behaviour and success had notably improved.

The new Ofsted rating means Barking and Dagenham has more ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ ratings than the London average, with nine out of 10 schools in the East London borough with these awards.

Eastbrook’s interim headteacher Jill Baker welcomed the school’s upgrade and praised the hard work of staff and pupils.

She said: “I am thrilled with our latest Ofsted report, which recognises the great progress we have made over recent years.

“I am proud of our wonderful pupils, staff and governors who have all worked so hard to achieve this.”

Barking and Dagenham councillor Evelyn Carpenter said: “I am delighted to see the hard work of everyone at Eastbrook School recognised in this wonderful Ofsted report.

“Inspectors described the school as a calm place where all staff are focused on success, and aspiration and leaders ensure pupils are safe and happy – a tremendous achievement when you consider the challenges the pandemic has presented.

“Huge congratulations to everyone at Eastbrook School.”

Ofsted inspectors said in their report: “Leaders are determined to continually improve this successful community school.”

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Alastair Lockhart

Local Democracy Reporter