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Queen Mary partner school St Paul’s Way rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted

Queen Mary, University of London’s partner school, St Paul’s Way Trust in Tower Hamlets, has been described as ‘outstanding’ in all four criteria in its 2013 Ofsted inspection, just months after it was named one of the most improved schools in the UK.

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Queen Mary is involved in a number of long-term innovative partnerships with independent state-maintained schools in east London, helping to improve standards of education and inspire young people to fulfil their potential.

St Paul’s Way Trust School is a short walk from Queen Mary’s Mile End campus. The university is lead partner in a Foundation Trust which also includes King's College London, The University of Warwick, the University of East London, NHS Tower Hamlets, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the insurance company Catlin Group Ltd and Andrew Mawson Partnerships.

The Chair of the Governors is provided by Queen Mary. Other Trust partners also provide governors, as do sponsors such as the Drapers' company, OFCOM and the London Legacy Development Corporation.

St Paul’s Way Trust School’s “exceptional links” with its partners were praised by Ofsted as “greatly extending the experiences students have within and beyond the school day”. 

Governance was described as "highly effective" and the report stated that "All leaders and managers, including those responsible for governance, share an ambitious vision for the success of the school and are determined that each and every student will be able to achieve to their highest potential”.

Queen Mary has worked with its Trust partners to develop an innovative and exciting curriculum for St Paul’s Way, which has autonomy from Local Authorities. This curriculum, with its science and visual arts specialism, is described by Ofsted as “highly effective”, meeting student needs, interests and aspirations.

The school’s sixth form, which was formed in 2011, is praised for its increasing popularity, outstanding and encouraging teaching, above-average attendance record and the hard work of pupils, who are making rapid improvement in their A-Level targets.

Queen Mary supports St Paul’s Way through a programme of outreach activities that includes a Teacher Fellowship scheme linking individual sixth-form teachers at St Paul’s Way to academic staff at Queen Mary. The programme supports the professional development of the teachers by partnering them with academics who are working in their field of interest.

St Paul’s Way uses Queen Mary’s facilities for events such as options evenings and revision sessions, and the University hosted the school’s first “Foundation Day” in the newly refurbished Great Hall in December 2012. This event was commended in the school’s Ofsted report.

Queen Mary also works with St Paul’s Way on the Authentic Biology project, a unique initiative sponsored by the Wellcome Trust that aims to inspire the next generation of scientific researchers. Working with Queen Mary staff and research students, St Paul’s Way sixth-form students undertake investigative science work in a dedicated research laboratory, investigating causes and cures for diabetes.

Both Trust Board and Governing Body are chaired by Queen Mary representatives: Professor Philip Ogden is Chair of the Trust Board and Professor Peter Heathcote is Chair of the Governing Body.

Professor Philip Ogden, Chair of the Trust, commented that the school’s outstanding Ofsted report reflects a huge amount of hard work on the part of the school’s Head, the staff of the school and the governors: “St Paul’s Way Trust School is making a very significant contribution to the lives of young people in the area and this Ofsted result provides a splendid foundation on which to build.”

Headteacher of St Paul’s Way, Grahame Price says: “Everyone at the school is hugely proud and delighted.  As described in the Ofsted report, the key to our success has been the very close links that we have formed with our parents, local and ‘City’ businesses and Higher Education Institutions. 

“As lead Trust partner Queen Mary, University of London has played a vital role in helping us to become ‘outstanding’.  Without the ongoing support that we have received from Queen Mary I am very sure that we would not today be such a high achieving school, celebrating such a positive Ofsted report.”

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