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Hessle High School

WEEK 29 - Friday 3 May 2024

They say that ‘a week is a long time in politics’, and it has also been for us all here at Hessle Academy. 

When I drove through the gate on Monday morning, little did I know that within a few hours I would have an Ofsted inspection to contend with. We knew that the inspection was imminent and were well prepared but the ‘no-notice’ element will always throw schools into turbulence. Suddenly, every plan that I had for the week was turned upside down and there was only one priority; steering the school, 1900 learners and 240+ staff through a two-day inspection. Technically, the inspection is not over until the final report is published (in a month or so), so I am unable to share with you the outcome. I would, however, like to thank you for your messages of support, and for the hundreds of you that completed the parent feedback survey which was overwhelmingly positive. 

The atmosphere and team spirit amongst the staff has been awe-inspiring. In any inspection, a handful of subject teams do most of the heavy lifting and, for us, this was English, Maths, Geography and Art. So when those colleagues arrived at work on Tuesday morning, they found their staff rooms full of cakes, biscuits and treats to keep them going through the two days – all put there, by their colleagues in the other departments, to show their support and appreciation. What a team we have here at Hessle; it makes me so proud.  

I can also say how proud I am of the way that the students (and the pupils at Penshurst) conducted themselves throughout the inspection. They were welcoming, polite and friendly to the three inspectors at all times and gave a fabulous account of themselves. I will be sharing that gratitude with them next week in their assemblies. 


Whilst the inspection took place, it was still business as usual and, on Tuesday, we hosted a group of trainee teachers from the Vantage Teaching School Hub. Between meetings, I popped over to Tranby House, where we hosting them, to welcome them to the school, the Trust and the profession. I am always in awe of young people (certainly all younger than me) who continue to choose to work in the ‘world’s greatest’ profession of teaching. It is bloody hard work and often thankless and stressful but to see energetic people keen to take on that challenge is humbling, so it was well worth my time going to see them, even during our inspection. 


As I mentioned in last week’s blog, the highlight of this weekend for me will be on Sunday night in Cardiff when Bruce Springsteen starts his 2024 European Tour. My wife and I are going (she has become a fan over the years, by simply accepting she had little choice!) and we’re going to break the journey with a night in Stratford-Upon-Avon tomorrow. After an Ofsted week, it has come at the perfect time.  

Thank you again for all of your support during inspection and have a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend.   

Mr Groak