|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Outstanding|
|Inspection Date||21 November 2011|
|Address||Golders Rise, Hendon, London, NW4 2HP|
|Number of Pupils||1239 (56% boys 44% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||13.2|
|Academy Sponsor||Hendon School|
|Percentage Free School Meals||17.9%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||55.8%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||Yes, our catchment area data is FREE|
Information about the school
Hendon School is a larger-than-average-sized school, with languages specialist status. A well-above-average proportion of students are known to be eligible for free school meals. The proportion of students whose first language is not English is well above average, as is the proportion of students from minority ethnic heritages. The proportion of students who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is average overall, with a well-above-average proportion having statements of special educational needs, mostly for hearing impairment. The school has a range of accreditations, including International School Status and Artsmark Gold award. The school has recently been selected as one of a small number of Arts Award Good Practice Centres across the country. The school has a hearing impaired unit with space for 20 students and in September 2008 opened the local authority’s first resourced provision to support students with Autism Spectrum Conditions in a mainstream secondary school. A new sixth-form centre opened in September 2011 and the school recently converted to academy status.
Since the previous inspection, this school has made rapid improvements in all aspects of its work and now provides an outstanding education for its students. The inspirational headteacher and his leadership team have excellent complementary leadership skills which they use to great effect in driving improvements rapidly and keeping all stakeholders motivated to always strive to do better. As one parent, representing the view of many, said, `The staff are approachable, knowledgeable, open to suggestions and willing to listen to both myself and my child. The teaching is very sound and the pastoral care outstanding.’ The school knows itself very well through rigorous self-evaluation. Clear priority setting has meant that there has been a sustained upward trajectory in students’ attainment. Since the previous inspection, this has risen to high attainment and the rates of progress are now outstanding overall. Differences in performance across subjects are narrowing and more students gain higher grades. Excellent systems are in place for tracking students’ achievements and well-being and for supporting those who are not meeting expectations. Senior and middle leaders support the teaching skills of staff very well. An excellent track record of rapid and continuous improvement in all aspects of students’ learning and well-being, combined with the strong challenge and support offered by the governing body, demonstrates an outstanding capacity for further improvement. Students receive outstanding care and support. Consequently, they enjoy school and attendance is high. Key factors in this are an outstanding and innovative curriculum which meets the needs and aspirations of all students, the positive impact the areas of specialism have on provision and the wide-ranging enrichment programme. Excellent links with outside agencies and strong engagement with parents and carers contribute significantly to the strengths in students’ personal development, well-being and academic achievement. Those students with hearing impairments, those on the autistic spectrum and those facing other challenging circumstances are fully included in school life and make similar outstanding progress to their peers. Students value the way they are supported and say they feel very safe at all times and that they are enabled to make well-informed choices about their futures and pursue healthy lifestyles. They make an excellent contribution to the school and wider community and have well-developed personal attitudes and engage positively with people of different faiths and cultures. The quality of teaching is outstanding overall as teachers prepare a range of engaging activities that both challenge and support the full range of students’ needs. Most teachers ensure that their students receive good guidance on how to improve their work, but in a small minority of cases, guidance lacks adequate detail and insufficient opportunities are given to students to respond and follow up on teachers’ comments and learn from their mistakes. Since the previous inspection, the popularity of the sixth form has increased, as has the number of students opting to stay at the school for their post-16 education. Attendance has risen significantly, and leaders have introduced a broader curriculum offer to better meet the needs and interests of students. Owing to improved teaching, rates of progress have accelerated, especially during Year 13, but there remains a sizeable, if narrowing, gap between the performances of different subjects.