All Saints Academy is on the path to success with new leadership

All Saints Academy principal Liz Furber with pupils
All Saints Academy principal Liz Furber with pupils

A school in Dunstable is enjoying a new chapter with a glowing Ofsted appraisal after a change in its leadership.

All Saints Academy in Houghton Road suffered a series of poor Ofsted reports in the past, with the last one in July judging the school as “Inadequate”.

A major overhaul of the school in November saw outsiders Liz Furber and Elaine Boyd appointed as acting principal and vice principal respectively.

And neither was daunted about the prospect of transforming the school.

Mrs Furber, who also teaches science, said: “I remember one of the first things I had to do was to mark the children’s mock papers.

“I thought, ‘there’s nothing stopping these children’. They can write, they can articulate themselves, but they didn’t know enough content about the subject.

“The thing that stands out to me is that the kids want the school to be one they are proud of and so do the teachers. They just didn’t have a clear direction in order to create that school.”

Ms Boyd said: “I’ve always worked in schools in challenging circumstances – it’s the reason for getting out of bed!

“What was immediately obvious was that everybody wanted some direction and the systems in place just weren’t robust enough or seen through.”

Mrs Furber previously worked at The Mandeville School in Aylesbury, while Ms Boyd taught at Sandy Upper School.

Since their arrival, the school has seen a rapid turnaround in its fortunes with a positive appraisal from Ofsted just before Christmas.

Ofsted inspector Richard Spencer noted: “In a short period of time you have acted robustly to bring stability and strong leadership to the academy.

“You have developed an academy improvement plan that reflects your previous experience and knowledge of the actions required to generate rapid improvements.”

Mrs Furber added: “We were not happy to put students in front of inadequate supply teachers anymore and we are challenging any staff members not aiming high enough.

“The children here don’t have a regular pattern of going out on trips and that’s something we need to push forward.”

You can read the school’s latest section 8 report from Ofsted here.