Coronavirus COVID-19: Latest updates

Many council services are reduced or disrupted. Check our coronavirus page for the most up-to-date information. Read the latest and sign up for updates.

Published: Monday, 4th June 2018

The John Roan school was inspected by Ofsted on 21 to 22 March 2018.

Inspectors recognised the prolonged period of upheaval the school has faced from significant changes in leadership over recent years but believe the school must take action to improve. As a result, the school has been graded 'Inadequate, with serious weaknesses'.

The report highlights the number of changes introduced since the appointment of Cath Smith, the new Headteacher, and praises recent improvements, particularly in terms of behaviour, personal development and teaching and learning, but states that more time is required to embed all new initiatives throughout the school.

'Deeply disappointed'

Cllr David Gardner, Deputy Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools said: "The Royal Borough of Greenwich is deeply disappointed that Ofsted has rated The Joan Roan school as Inadequate. This is certainly not the standard of education we want for our young people, nor the standard they deserve.

"Over the many years, we have worked extremely closely with all of our schools and education facilities to ensure the best possible education for all of our students. This judgement is not typical of schools in Greenwich, with 94 per cent of our schools judged Good or Outstanding.

"Inspectors acknowledged that the school's significant staff changes, predominantly at headteacher level, had contributed to the rating.

"The report praised recent improvements, particularly in terms of behaviour, personal development and teaching and learning. The Leader and Deputy Leader have met with the Headteacher of The John Roan school and were reassured that she has a clear vision for driving up standards with immediate effect. The Council will work closely with the Headteacher and her leadership team in the coming weeks and months to do so.

"We will continue to support the Headteacher in her excellent work as she continues to transform the school's performance and the life chances of every current and future student.

"Although we cannot stop the Secretary of State from issuing the school with an Academy Order we strongly oppose forcing schools to become academies. In the end, it is standards, not structures of governance, that will make the difference for our young people.

"We are confident with our support the school will return to a Good rating and that the foundations are being laid to build an outstanding school, truly rooted in its local community."

'Rapid improvement'

Cath Smith, executive headteacher for The John Roan School, said: "Ofsted's verdict is disappointing, but I firmly believe The John Roan provides young people in Greenwich with a unique educational experience.

"By blending over 335 years of heritage with a dynamic and contemporary approach to learning we offer every student life changing opportunities to discover the endless possibilities available to them and succeed in exceeding their potential.

"The staff and leadership of the School is committed to securing excellent outcomes for all students and keeping parents and carers regularly informed about how we do this."

Frequently asked questions on The John Roan school's Ofsted rating

  • The school was informed by Ofsted that there would be a lengthy quality assurance process prior to the publication of the report. The process has to be robust when a judgement of Inadequate is going to be made. It is important to note that the school and local authority have been working together to ensure improvement actions are taking place since Cath Smith took over as the Executive Headteacher of the school in February 2018. Many of the improvements were noted by Ofsted but there had not been enough time for significant impact of these improvements to be seen.

  • If inspectors judge a school to be Inadequate, it will be placed in one of the following two categories of concern:

    • Special measures - this means the school is failing to provide its pupils with an acceptable standard of education, and is not showing the capacity to make the improvements needed
    • Serious weaknesses - this means that one or more of the key areas of the school's performance require significant improvement, but leaders and managers have demonstrated the capacity to improve.
  • A maintained school judged as Inadequate and placed in a category of concern will be issued with an Academy Order by the Secretary of State for Education, to require it to become a new sponsored academy. This is a legal requirement that the Secretary of State must undertake.

  • The Council strongly opposes forcing schools to become academies and believes that schools in Royal Greenwich have the capacity to shape their own destiny.

  • Once an Academy Order is made the governing body and the local authority is under a duty to facilitate conversion to a sponsored academy.

  • Inadequate rated schools must produce an improvement plan which addresses all the areas of concern raised by the inspectors. As soon as Cath Smith became Executive Headteacher she introduced an improvement plan that was shared with all staff and governors and has already led to the improvements already noted by Ofsted. This plan has been revised, with reference to the Ofsted report, and the improvements to learning and teaching, assessment and behaviour are continuing.

  • It is likely that the Academy Order will be issued within ten days of the report being published on the Ofsted website. Following that the average length of time for the school to become an academy is between six to nine months. It can be quicker if there are no legal or financial complications and that a sponsor comes forward who is willing to take the school on. The Regional Schools Commissioner has a duty to ensure that the school becomes a sponsored academy as swiftly as possible.

  • The Regional School Commissioner, who acts on behalf of the Secretary of State, will make the final decision as to who the sponsor will be. The sponsor will need to be able to demonstrate that they have the capacity to support The John Roan on its improvement journey and a proven track record of how a school can make rapid improvement. The Regional Schools Commissioner will broker this new relationship.

Read the Ofsted letter to parents on The John Roan school website