This term, I shall continue to visit Al-Ashraf Secondary School on a regular basis to support their school improvement endeavours. The Head Teacher, SLT and members of staff recognise the need to move forward and are keen to address all the suggested areas for improvement noted in Ofsted’s latest report.
Patience is required, however, as rapid improvement cannot happen overnight, especially given the nature of the school, the rather prescriptive curriculum that is on offer, its limited budget and the large proportion of part-time staff. Nevertheless, since I took on this ad hoc advisory role last April, there has certainly been a degree of reflection, new protocols introduced, changes to the curriculum and advances made with regard to teaching and learning. Any input that I have is incredibly rewarding and seeing a small, independent faith school in action helps me to understand and appreciate elements of Islam further.
Let’s hope that this continues throughout the next academic year and there is clear evidence of improvement for Ofsted, governors, members of the local community and parents/carers to witness on their subsequent visits to school.