Harrogate High School Ofsted: “Management team has a clear view, and plan to take the school forward”

26 June 2023

Harrogate High School has received a Requires Improvement rating from Ofsted, but have said that the new management team has a clear view over what is needed, and have plans in place to do what is needed.

  • New leaders have an accurate view of the school, and acknowledge that improvement is needed
  • Work, already underway, is driving the school in the right direction.
  • Ofsted recognised that the right leadership is in place, with the right plan, to do what is needed, with a clear direction of travel


  • Overall effectiveness Requires improvement
  • The quality of education Requires improvement
  • Behaviour and attitudes Requires improvement
  • Personal development Requires improvement
  • Leadership and management Requires improvement
  • Previous inspection grade Good

Inspection 2023

Inspection 2017

Ofsted inspectors have expressed confidence in new school leadership at Harrogate High School to drive further improvement in school standards. The inspectors’ report, due to be published by Ofsted this week, has recognised the school’s development, confirming that “actions that leaders have taken have secured improvements in the quality of education”.

Whilst recognising that, overall, Harrogate High School requires improvement as it continues to develop, inspectors expressed confidence that the school’s leaders “have an accurate view of the school,” and that they have identified the next steps to be taken in school improvement. The report recognised work undertaken by the Trust (of which Harrogate High is a part) to strengthen governance and appoint new leadership.

The report also makes special comment about meeting the needs of students with special needs students.

Inspectors visited Harrogate High School for two days in late April. They found:

  • Arrangements for safeguarding are effective, staff are well trained, and safeguarding is “seen as everyone’s responsibility” at Harrogate High School.
  • Leaders have developed an “ambitious curriculum”, including for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities – and that pupils with additional needs are “well supported in lessons”.
  • The school is developing a “culture of reading”, with younger pupils reading more often and pupils who need help with reading getting the support they need.
  • All pupils receive independent advice and guidance to help them choose future careers, with a programme of activity to enable young people to make choices about education and training when they leave. Harrogate High School holds the “Career Mark” quality standard for its support to students preparing for the world of work.

Inspectors also provided helpful recommendations for further improvement at Harrogate High School – all of which have already been incorporated into school leaders’ development plans. These include: greater consistency in the application of the school’s new curriculum and also in the further implementation of its behaviour policy; more planning of the personal development curriculum; and improvements in communications with stakeholders.

Harrogate High School is part of the Northern Star Academies Trust – a partnership of nine schools across Harrogate, Skipton and Keighley.

Sukhraj Gill, Headteacher of Harrogate High School, said:

This is an exciting time for Harrogate High School. Inspectors have recognised the improvements we have already made and confirmed that we are on the right track to make Harrogate High a great school. We have achieved a great deal at Harrogate High School – with a lot more to do. We will continue our relentless drive to make Harrogate High the best school it can be for all the young people that we educate.

We’re especially pleased that inspectors recognised that we provide good support for pupils with additional needs. We value every young person in our school, whatever their needs. Ofsted’s findings are a vindication of our values as a truly inclusive school.



Jenn Plews, Chief Executive of Northern Star Academies Trust, said:

Inspectors confirmed that we have an accurate view of Harrogate High School and that it requires improvement. Inspectors’ recommendations have been built into the school action plan being implemented by school leaders. That plan is already improving the quality of education – recognised by Ofsted – and we are working hard every day to make Harrogate High School a great school”.

Harrogate High School has made massive strides forward under its new leadership. The Ofsted report is clear: leaders’ actions have improved the quality of education. The fact that the school is full and has been oversubscribed is a testament to the work our school and our Trust across Harrogate.

Inspections are always an opportunity to learn from the inspectors’ feedback and recommendations to help us develop and improve. We welcome this report as a positive contribution to continue Harrogate High School’s continuing journey to become a great school.

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