School sets sights high

Basingstoke Gazette: Acting head teacher Gareth Evans Acting head teacher Gareth Evans

A HEAD teacher who has turned around the fortunes of a Basingstoke school is confident it will be rated as outstanding within five years.

Grangeside, in Pack Lane, reached rock bottom in 2006, when it was known as Basingstoke School Plus, and was taken into special measures after receiving Ofsted’s lowest rating – unsatisfactory.

However, since then, under the leadership of acting head teacher, Gareth Evans, and a new name, the school, which cares for children with behavioural, social and emotional difficulties, has worked to turn itself around.

Its Ofsted inspection published in April rewarded the school with a satisfactory rating and required it to be taken out of special measures.

Mr Evans, who divides his time as acting head teacher at Grangeside and Lakeside School in Eastleigh, said: “We’re all really proud of the achievement and were rated as ‘good’ in four categories. When I took over we were at a very low base so this is really a testament to the hard work everyone at the school has put in.

“The key has been changing the expectations of teachers and pupils. From having no pupils take GCSE exams five years ago, we now have eight subjects which pupils are gaining grades in.

“The other school I work at was also in special measures when I took over and now it’s rated as outstanding. It’s my desire for that to happen at Grangeside within five years.”

However, despite the school’s remarkable turnaround there is a chance Mr Evans could leave as it will reclassified as a secondary school in 2010 and will, therefore, require a permanent head teacher.

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