Ofsted Report

Monitoring Inspection Report – May 2023

Ofsted praises Forest High’s progress out of ‘special measures’

SGS Forest High School was pleased to welcome Ofsted back into the school recently to showcase progress made since its last inspection, with findings highlighting how it now provides “a broad curriculum” with a “a skilled and well motivated staff team, determined to improve the school”.

In the first visit to the school since it was placed in special measures last June, His Majesty’s Inspector drew a positive contrast with what was found less than a year ago. In a letter to Headteacher Alan Dane, the Inspector stated pupils “now enjoy learning music, drama, computing and food”, showing pride in recent musical performances and sporting achievements. Praising the “considerable expertise” of staff, the Inspector also noted that – among many improvements – “leaders have raised expectations for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities”, “reorganised the school day to prioritise reading” and that “pupils now benefit from an improved curriculum to support their personal development”.

Within the report, the Inspector also identified areas for further improvement, so that the school continues to make rapid progress towards the removal of special measures. These areas include building on the school’s work with “pupils who find it difficult to engage positively with school life”, with Ofsted noting that a strategy to address this is in place, but that “it is too soon to evaluate the impact”.

Headteacher Alan Dane described the report as “a really fair and very pleasing reflection of the huge strides we have made on our journey to finally giving Cinderford’s fantastic young people the school they deserve. While all of us here recognise that it takes around two years to lift a school out of special measures, we have already achieved more than many people thought possible and we will go even further in the months ahead.”

SGS Academy Trust CEO Kevin Hamblin said, “I am really delighted with the fortitude and professionalism of all staff, as well as the fact that His Majesty’s Inspector found our Trust to have been ‘instrumental’ in supporting Alan and the team to transform the school. We are fully committed to doing everything needed to provide Cinderford with first class secondary education”.

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