‘Good’ Ofsted showcases ambitious school where pupils feel safe & happy

Staff and students at Tupton Hall School, near Chesterfield, were delighted to hear that all areas of its provision had been rated 'Good' following a two-day inspection before Christmas.

Inspectors praised the school as being ‘rooted in the community’, noting that pupils are ‘proud’ of their school and feel ‘happy and safe’.

The inspection team visited lessons, looked at students’ work and spoke to a wide range of stakeholders including students, parents, teachers, leaders and governors on 30th November and 1st December 2022. 

The report acknowledges ongoing efforts by school leaders to bring about sustainable ‘significant improvement’. It reads: “They focus on providing a supportive, calm learning environment where each pupil can do their best.”

Headteacher, Andrew Knowles, said: “I am delighted that the hard work of our staff, students, families and wider community has been recognised in this report. It is a tremendous boost for our school and its community. We should all be proud of the collective effort and effective teamwork that has led to these judgements of our school.”

This was the school’s first Ofsted inspection since joining Redhill Academy Trust in 2019.

Tim Croft, a Regional Director at the trust, congratulated the school. He said: “We are delighted that Tupton Hall School has been recognised for the significant improvements made since joining the Redhill Academy Trust. This judgement is the culmination of a lot of hard work from all involved and will support the school in its ongoing journey of improvement.”

In lessons, inspectors saw that most pupils worked hard and behaved well, upholding the school’s ‘high expectations of all pupils’.

The positive culture at Tupton Hall School was further commended with comments that ‘pupils are expected to treat everyone with kindness and respect, and they do.’ Inspectors were told by pupils: ‘everyone can be themselves’. They also observed warm relationships between staff and pupils, reporting that: “[pupils] know that staff care about their education and wellbeing.”

Pupils are proud of their school. It is a school rooted in the community. Pupils are happy and feel safe.

Inspectors were particularly impressed by the school’s efforts to boost literacy through a reading programme designed to ‘support and encourage all pupils to read well’. All pupils in Key Stage 3 read every day.

In terms of the curriculum taught at Tupton Hall School, Ofsted described it as ‘ambitious’ with ‘the right support in lessons’, allowing pupils access it fully. The wide range of courses on offer at all key stages was highlighted. Particular praise was given to a curriculum pathway followed by a small number of Key Stage 3 pupils, in which the full curriculum is appropriately adapted to meet their needs. Ofsted said: “This is a strength of the school’s provision”.

Leaders have brought about significant improvement at this school. They focus on providing a supportive, calm learning environment where each pupil can do their best.

The wide and varied range of clubs and activities through Tupton’s ‘Enrich’ programme was also recognised for providing opportunities through sport, music, drama, arts and more, as was the chance for pupils to be leaders and have influence in their school. The report reads: “Staff listen to their views and make changes.”

The school’s provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) was said to be strong. “The SEND team works well with pupils and their families.” Similarly, arrangements for safeguarding pupils were said to be effective, due to a ‘culture of vigilance and care’.

Tupton Hall School has a large, successful sixth form on site with dedicated facilities for Post-16 students. During their inspection, the team observed that students in the sixth form ‘enjoyed’ their experience, valuing the relationships they had with staff. These relationships are based on encouragement and support, enabling sixth formers to be ambitious about their next steps in life.

Ofsted acknowledged the sixth form’s effective programme for personal development and also the advice and guidance given to students to support their next steps in education, training or employment.

Listed below are further comments made by inspectors following the recent Ofsted inspection:


  • Leaders provide staff, including those new to teaching, with high-quality training and development opportunities.
  • The school receives good support from the Trust and the local academy board.
  • Governors share leaders’ commitment to the school and the community.  


  • Staff are well-trained and know their duties well.
  • Pupils know they can speak to staff if they are worried.
  • Leaders are knowledgeable and skilled. They are alert to the risks that pupils may face.
  • They ensure that pupils get the support they need, including from the school counsellor and nurse.
  • Leaders make extensive use of the external agencies and organisations available, to help their pupils.
  • Pupils do not worry about bullying. It is rare and staff deal with it quickly. 


  • With effective support from senior leaders and the Trust, subject leaders have thought carefully about the curriculum.
  • They have identified what they want pupils to know and be able to do. They have set out the order in which pupils will learn key knowledge and when they will have a chance to revisit it.
  • Leaders continue to develop and improve their curriculum.
  • In most lessons, teachers share clear explanations. They make sure that pupils understand how new learning connects to what they have learned before. They check pupils’ understanding before moving on.


  • Teachers value the information and advice they receive from the special educational needs coordinator. Pupils receive the right support in lessons and they participate fully in the curriculum.


  • Leaders ensure that the books pupils read are appropriate to help improve their reading.
  • Leaders identify pupils who need additional support.
  • They have set up a new phonics programme to meet pupils’ needs.

Behaviour & Attendance

  • Pupils receive rewards for doing the right thing. Leaders provide effective support to pupils who need help to behave well consistently.
  • Leaders identify pupils who do not attend school as often as they should.
  • They work with pupils and their families to improve pupils’ attendance. This work is beginning to have a positive impact.