Alperton school a class act after being named outstanding

The school was praised for its high grade and cohesive community

A school where more than three quarters of pupils speak English a secondlanguage has been awarded an Outstanding by Ofsted.

But the headteacher at Alperton Community has ruled out applying for academy status, which she branded a ‘distraction’.

The secondary in Stanley Avenue, Alperton, was praised by the government inspectorate for taking struggling students from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, and achieving top grades with them.

The report stated: “Alperton Community School is an outstanding school that successfully raises the achievements of students from various cultural and social backgrounds, most of whom entered the school with below national levels of attainment.

“Students all work exceptionally well together in a harmonious, cohesive community.”

The vast majority of Alperton pupils are Indian, Black Asian or Black African, and more than a fifth are on free school meals.

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The report is a boost to the school which suffered a major blow last year when the government announced it was withdrawing funding for its multi million pound rebuild under the Building Schools for the Future programme.

Maggie Rafee, headteacher at Alperton, said: “I am so pleased. We had such a big disappointment last year when our Building Schools for the Future money was withdrawn, this just goes to show that you can carry on and do great things whatever the buildings are like.

“Students and their families have aspirations, even though those children come from difficult circumstances. Education is still hugely important to them.”

Schools rated outstanding can be fast-tracked to become academies and therefore opt out of local authority control. They also attract additional funding.

Claremont High School in Kenton has applied to become a converter academy while Kingsbury High in Kingsbury is considering it.

Ms Rafee insisted that Alperton was not considering going down this route, which she said risked ‘distracting’ teachers.

However, she added: “There is a concern that if more schools in Brent become academies then there wouldn’t be the funding coming through the local authority to provide a really good service from the local authority.

“That is the only thing that would prompt myself and my governors into adopting academy status. In the future, if so many schools go down that route we wouldn’t want to be left behind.”