The best and worst schools in Southwark according to Ofsted - Jonathan Cartu Charity Foundation
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The best and worst schools in Southwark according to Ofsted

The best and worst schools in Southwark according to Ofsted


Southwark has a huge range of schools all around the borough.

In terms of Ofsted ratings, it’s a mixed bag. Some schools received Outstanding while others were rated as Requires Improvement.

Notably, no schools in Southwark are currently Inadequate.

The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, more commonly known as Ofsted, is an independent, impartial body that reports directly to Parliament.

It is responsible for inspecting any service providing education or skills to learners of all ages, as well as striking fear into the heart of teachers up and down the country.

Schools, colleges, academies or other institutions are rated from the coveted “Outstanding” to “Requires Improvement” or even “Inadequate”.

These rankings are not just important tools for the schools themselves, but they’re also good information for parents to have.

That’s why we’ve listed all the Southwark schools (both primary and secondary) that were ranked “Outstanding” by Ofsted, as well as those told they must improve.

Find them below and view the full Ofsted reports here.

First up, it’s the schools rated Outstanding:

Albion Primary School



Albion Primary School

Albion, a primary school consisting of 199 pupils aged three-11, was rated Outstanding at its last full inspection in October 2011.

This “smaller than average” primary school was said to have “an outstanding quality of education” by the inspector.

The inspector added that “it serves its local community exceptionally well” and “leaders, managers and members of the governing body work successfully together”.

Most importantly, the inspection concludes: “Pupils’ caring attitudes towards one another, strong teamwork skills, respect for pupils from a wide variety of different cultures and generous charity fundraising are evidence of their excellent spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development.”

Angel Oak Academy

This mixed school for three to 11-year-olds was rated Outstanding in October 2017 and does not have any previous inspections.

Highlights of its review include the fact that pupils’ progress and attainment are “rising at an impressively rapid and sustained rate”.

The curriculum is also highlighted as “innovative and tailored closely to pupils’ needs”. Pupils learn a strong system of values, based partly on its ‘Rights Respecting School’.

Boutcher Church of England Primary School

Boutcher had a full inspection, in which it was rated Outstanding, all the way back in May 2008, but did have an interim inspection in January 2011, in which the high standard of the school was judged by Ofsted as having been “sustained”.

In its original assessment, inspectors said: “The school provides an outstanding all-round education for its pupils in an oasis of peace, happiness, and calm within a very busy area of London.”

They continued: “By the end of Year 6, standards are higher than average in English, mathematics, and science. This is very impressive as many pupils join the school with lower than expected skills.”

The Cathedral School of St Saviour and St Mary Overy

As is typical with Outstanding schools, the last inspection of this mixed primary school was a while ago in October 2008. At the time, this 300-year-old school received a sparkling review.

Valuing children’s enjoyment of learning, pupils say they like their teachers because they “explain things so that you understand and they teach you in a fun way”.

Overall, inspectors concluded: “Pupils are enriched at this school, as they receive a thoroughly rounded and exciting education. There is an excellent focus on health and fitness and pupils have a very well developed understanding about the dangers of the world around them.”

Charles Dickens Primary School

Last inspected in July 2009 and going through an interim inspection in 2011, this school of 455 pupils is “an outstanding school where pupils’ achievement is excellent”.

The inspector wrote: “Staff are dedicated to doing the best for the pupils. The care shown by adults is impressive.”

They went on: “The school is a very harmonious and inclusive place to be. The relationships between pupils, staff, parents and the community are exceptionally strong.”

The Charter School North Dulwich

In November 2009, this secondary school for 11-18-year-olds was rated as Outstanding, serving 1085 pupils in the best way it can.

Inspectors noticed there is “a powerful culture of continuous improvement in the school” and the school has continued to see improvement “year on year”.

They added: “The highly inclusive nature of the school owes much to the contributions students make. One example of many is the high quality and extent of peer mentoring. Behaviour is very good and often outstanding.”

Cherry Garden School

Rated as Outstanding in 2015 saw Cherry Garden continue its streak of excellent Ofsted ratings.

The inspector noticed that “teaching is consistently good” throughout the school and “children receive a very high level of individual support.

They continued: “Pupils are relaxed and happy learners. Their behaviour is excellent. It is exceptionally well managed by adults who ensure that relationships with staff and other pupils are warm and positive.”

Crampton Primary

This primary school for pupils aged 4 to 11 is made up of 193 students and received its last Ofsted inspection in February 2014.

Observations from inspectors found that “pupils respond well to their teachers’ very high expectations of them”.

They also wrote how pupils from different groups, including those with disabilities, often do very well because adults understand their individual needs to excel.

In summary, Ofsted said: “The school vision is everywhere and mutual respect and success for all are at the heart of the school’s work.”

Crawford Primary

This school was rated Outstanding in 2013, a huge leap from its previous Satisfactory rating.

The inspector said that teachers and other staff behind the school “have secured significant improvements since the last inspection. Their unwavering commitment to raising achievement ensures teaching, learning and curriculum are of the highest quality.

Standards of all pupils at the end of Year 6, including pupils with disabilities and special educational needs, are above the national average.

In conclusion the report said: “Pupils and staff respect each other and are unfailingly polite and courteous. Pupils from different backgrounds play well together creating a friendly, happy atmosphere.”

Dulwich Hamlet Junior School



Dulwich Hamlet Junior School

The previous school closed and a new one opened when this school became an Academy in April 2011. It has not yet had an inspection as the new academy converter.

It received Outstanding at its last inspection in September 2008, and the report said: “Pupils do very well because the staff work hard to provide such a stimulating curriculum that, the words of one parent, ensures that ‘every child is given opportunities to flourish and develop their full potential.”

You can’t officially take the previous Ofsted rating once a school has converted to an academy, although the rating is taken into account to judge when the new school’s next inspection should be.

Dulwich Village Church of England Infants’ School

This mixed school of four to seven-year-olds has 234 pupils and was rated Outstanding at its last inspection in 2008.

Inspectors found: “Pupils want to learn because teachers make the work interesting and enjoyable and have high expectations for what pupils can achieve.”

The report continued: “[Pupils] show a very strong awareness of right and wrong, and understand the concept of fairness.”

They also “take full advantage of the healthy options available at lunch and the extensive opportunities for physical exercise, including active play.”

Harris Academy Bermondsey

This secondary school for girls has 730 pupils and was judged as Outstanding in its last inspection in April 2015.

Inspectors said: “Students are spirited, energetic, courteous, and well-mannered. They are also very caring and supportive towards one another.”

The students…

Education Foundation Jonathan Cartu Educationist

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