‘Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. Pupils are very well prepared for life in modern Britain’
Wilkes Green Junior School “The Journey so far”
When Mr Mangat came here as a Head Teacher he had to create structures where the decision making process was open, transparent and inclusive. Appropriate structures had to be developed for this to happen. For example, a debriefing session for all staff in the morning where staff had the opportunity to clarify day-to-day issues. A management structure where every year group team has a Team Leader ensuring that every year group and across year groups colleagues work in teams and Team Leaders perform a leadership role. A weekly school management team meeting was introduced where all Team Leaders attended, including a representative of teaching staff and support staff on a rota-basis. The idea of this was for everyone to see, experience and take responsibility of the decision making process which was open, transparent and inclusive and where everyone was treated equally. It was always articulated that the purpose of us being here in school is teaching and learning; that all energies should be focused on children learning and teachers teaching. For this we ought to provide the best learning and teaching facilities. Hence structures were created to accomplish this. Teachers soon started working in teams for example, looking at various policies and curriculum areas. The lead person would play a leadership role and sometimes the leadership role (chair) was on a rota basis so that everyone learnt from each other.
The clear vision he had was based on providing the best teaching and learning facilities for all. This soon became the shared vision of the school which is reflected in our mission statement: ‘At Wilkes Green Junior school we are a caring school community working together for equality and success in education for all our pupils’. This changed the whole culture of the institution. These children were tested/assessed and the appropriate intervention strategies implemented to meet their learning needs. We celebrate diversity. Children from all backgrounds developed self-esteem and confidence and excelled all aspects of their development and staff were proud of their achievements. The school became very popular with parents and the community.
In 1997 the school had its first OFSTED inspection and the inspectors judged the school to be very effective; ‘The Head Teacher has successfully established a philosophy of continual improvement which is evident in the daily life of the school’. At the same time one of the business partners the school was working with was Xpelair. This was a unique experience for children and the staff involved and it culminated in the school negotiating a very competitive price for the installation of Xpelair ceiling fans in school which we were told at the time we were the first school in Birmingham to have them installed. This relationship introduced us to the Investors In People model to which the school successfully applied for accreditation in June 1998. The school was invited to the National IIP celebration at the International Convention Centre.
In 1999 the Head Teacher, Mr Mangat, was awarded the MBE for services to education. In 2000 the school was identified by the DFE as a Beacon School with a number of areas of expertise which it was asked to share with other schools. This the school successfully did for four years until this programme was ended. In 2002, 2005 and 2008 the school was successfully reviewed for Investors In People. In 2008 the school also successfully applied to be recognised as meeting the IIP Leadership and Management Model. In February 2010 the school received a ‘Ten Year Award’ for being continuously recognised as an Investors In People organisation for ten years or more.
In 2002 in our second OFSTED inspection we were again judged to be a very successful school: ‘The leadership of the Head Teacher and senior staff is dynamic. Management systems and procedures are exemplary. The Head Teacher has a very clear vision for the school. He is very well supported by an exceptionally able Deputy Head Teacher and a very committed teaching and non-teaching staff’.
In 2006 OFSTED described the leadership and management of the school is ‘The Head Teacher has exceptionally high expectations for pupils in relation to their personal development and their academic progress. The outstanding clarity of his vision and his very strong leadership motivate staff and pupils.
During this time these are some of the other accolades the school has achieved:
- Supporting various charities and disaster appeals
- Healthy Schools Status
- Active Mark
- Science Quality Mark
- School Improvement Partner
- OFSTED inspector (Head Teacher)
- Shadow OFSTED inspection (Deputy Head Teacher)
- Financial Management Standard in schools
- NCSL programmes
- NPQH coaching
- Consultant Leadership
- Open School programme
- Excellence in cities initiative
- Asian Achievement Group
- Titan Business Partnership
- Framework for Intervention
- Work experience provision and university student teacher training
In November 2011, in the schools fourth OFSTED inspection the school was judged to be outstanding. Following on from this the school made an application to become recognised as an Investors In People organisation at the Gold standard. We are very pleased to have been recognised as meeting those standards.
“It is unusual to come across organisations that are near perfect and where it is difficult to identify room for improvement, but Wilkes Green Junior School is such an organisation… It was a pleasure to carry out the assessment in such a happy organisation with dedicated and fulfilled employees. All concerned are to be congratulated on this significant and well deserved milestone in the history of the school.”
Richard Tomes, July 2012
In March 2015, The school has retained its Investors In People Gold status. Richard Tomes, the IIP assessor, interviewed 19 members of staff. In his report he commented, ‘This school is something special’.
In April 2015, the schools fifth OFSTED inspection was judged to be “Good”. In our report the school received a glowing report with many areas again recognised as outstanding. We continue to maintain excellent achievement.
During this journey we have learnt a lot and we have evolved. Our shared vision has developed and we continue to improve on our previous best. The journey has been full of challenges but the rewards are success for our pupils, satisfaction for colleagues, parents and the community. This wonderful journey continues.