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St Mark’s Church of England Academy is an ‘Outstanding’ school, say Ofsted inspectors

In a glowing report, Ofsted says St Mark’s is a school where pupils flourish, and the staff go ‘above and beyond’ to support pupils in all aspects of their education.

We are thrilled to share that St Mark's Church of England Academy in Mitcham, Surrey is celebrating after receiving the highest possible accolade from Ofsted inspectors.

Following an inspection in May, the school has been rated as “Outstanding” in every single category, with leaders having the “very highest expectations of all pupils”. Staff at St Mark’s were praised for going “above and beyond to support pupils in all aspects of their education”, transforming the school into one of the best in the country.

The school’s values of Love, Hope and Trust were noted as being “not just words” but demonstrated by all members of the community. The inspectors said St Mark’s has created an “ambitious, focused and engaging curriculum” across all subjects.

Many pupils arrive with low reading ages or with English as an additional language, but the school supports these pupils “highly effectively”. The school also identifies the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) swiftly and “appropriate and effective adaptations are put in place”, ensuring these pupils access the ambitious curriculum on offer.

The Ofsted inspectors said that the school’s work to develop pupils’ character is exceptional, with pupils taking part in whole school enrichment days, such as trips to museums, outdoor activity centres and theatres, and having the chance to attend many clubs, including cooking, Korean, coding and keyboard.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • Working relationships between staff and pupils are warm, caring and respectful.

  • Staff and pupils are proud to be part of a close-knit school community.

  • Parents and carers highly value the school’s work.

  • The school’s cultural diversity is celebrated by all at every turn. 

  • Many staff say the school feels like a family and they thrive as a result of the high-quality professional development provided. 

  • Leaders at all levels work well together and are committed to further improvement.

  • Trust leaders and governors know and support the school very well.

Headteacher Hannah Fahey, who started at the school as a newly qualified teacher and has played a major role in the school’s transformation, said: “It is an honour to lead this beautifully diverse community. This report should act as a reminder that anything can be achieved when a group of individuals unite around a shared vision that aims to allow everyone at St Mark’s to live life in all its fullness. Coming to work every day feels like a gift because I get to work with the most incredible young people and staff who go above and beyond to transform lives. This report is for every staff member, parent and child who has played a role in our unthinkable journey of transformation over the past 15 years. Thank you for all you do.”

Mohsen Ojja, CEO of Anthem Schools Trust, said: “This high praise of St Mark’s from the Ofsted inspectors is very well deserved by all the staff and students and I would like to offer them my warmest congratulations. As a trust, we are committed to creating ambitious and successful schools in which every child thrives and St Mark’s commitment to developing every child holistically is a shining example of this.”