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Founded in 1942, The Joseph Rowntree School is a successful 11-18 mixed comprehensive school of over 1,200 students including approximately 250 in the sixth form. 

A modern school, less than 10 years old, we have extensive, attractive grounds and playing fields and an open landscape setting. Inside the building, we have fantastic, state of the art facilities, which really help to support and challenge our learners. The layout comprises of a ‘main street’, with departments branching off, each located in their own hub. A large hall is used for assemblies and productions, amongst other things.

As well as the main school facilities, we also have the Wilshire Centre, based on the ground floor of the school next to reception, which provides highly specialised support, and individual teaching and learning for students of mainstream ability who have significant and complex autism.

We have strong links with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation; a British social policy research and development charity, that funds a UK-wide research and development programme, to understand the root causes of social problems, identifying ways of overcoming them, and to show how social needs can be met in practice.



Located in New Earswick to the north east of York, approximately 4 miles from the city centre we have excellent transport links being close to the A1237 (York’s major ring road) and the A64 (with connections to Leeds to the west and Scarborough to the east and the A1M). The city is on several main rail lines served by York Railway Station resulting in rapid journey times to regional and national locations. In addition, bus services are excellent and there is an extensive cycle network. 



It is our intention that students develop into mature and confident learners who get involved in all elements of life at our school and strive to make the most of their abilities. We want to enable students to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to contribute to society as members of a caring and diverse community. With this in mind we focus on delivering the best possible learning experience, which caters for the needs of all learners and where individual talents are nurtured and allowed to flourish.

Integral to this focus on achievement and creativity are very strong guidance and pastoral care systems, which ensure that all students are valued and supported. In addition, our extensive range of extra-curricular activities develops skills, interests, relationships and enjoyment of school life and learning.


Staff Profile

We have 85 teaching staff (79FTE) and 84 support staff (54FTE). We have a committed and able SLT with two Deputy Head Teacher (DHT) posts. Our classroom Teaching Assistants, integral to both the literacy and numeracy strategies across the school, provide 1:1 support and wider intervention strategies. Please see our organisational chart.

The successful candidate has the very early opportunity to shape and structure their own team as there is currently a DHT vacancy that will be advertised once the new Head Teacher is appointed. 


Ethos & Values

  • Excellence in everything that we do.
  • The best possible outcomes for all of our learners – maximising potential.
  • Respect for all individuals within and beyond our school.
  • Outstanding teaching that inspires a love of learning within and outside the classroom.
  • The importance of preparing our students to make an active contribution to the wider world.
  • Kind and considerate Behaviour for Learning.
  • Being creative and nurturing talent in all of its’ different forms.
  • Being resilient, having self-belief and working hard to achieve your goals in life.



This school continues to be Good – OFSTED (25 May 2017) see report here

“The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. You are determined that the school will provide the best possible education for all pupils. You have a clear vision about how this will be done, which includes developing pupils’ resilience and providing a wide range of non-academic opportunities, alongside ensuring that pupils are taught well in every lesson. This vision is shared by the governing body, middle leaders, senior leaders and staff”. 

“Middle leaders are reflective and work together well as a group. You have enabled them to support and challenge staff to ensure that teaching improves and pupils make even better progress”.

“The governing body is fully involved in the school at a strategic level. Governing body meetings are focused and challenging, with questions asked and answers considered carefully. Governors are self-reflective and have put in place training to ensure that they keep up to date with changes in the education system”.


Key Findings

“You did a comprehensive review of the GCSE results in 2016, focusing on the differences between the progress made in English and mathematics by pupils supported by the pupil premium funding and their peers nationally; the differenceswere bigger than would be expected. As a result, the pupil premium funding is being spent even more effectively, and pupils supported by this funding are receiving even more bespoke support, both in lessons and across the curriculum. For example, a group of pupils were taken on an outward bound and mathematics course which enabled them to consider the practical application of mathematics. Your comprehensive and detailed tracking system ensures that all staff know exactly how well pupils are doing. Differences are closing rapidly across both key stage3 and key stage 4 as a result..

In both English and mathematics, extra staffing is used to ensure flexible setting. Inspectors saw this being used highly effectively in mathematics when a small group of pupils was given the opportunity to discuss mathematical concepts they found difficult in a supportive environment. Pupils mentioned that they found this support very useful. However, in some mathematics lessons, all pupils are given the same work to do. Often, this work is too easy for some pupils and too hard for others.

The attendance of pupils is above the national average. Much work is ongoing to ensure that all pupils, and especially those supported by the pupil premium and those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, continue to improve their attendance. Comprehensive and effective professional development for staff means that they are able to deal with behaviour issues better and, as a result, the proportion of pupils who are being excluded has fallen significantly.

Pupils say their lessons are rarely disrupted and, during the inspection, pupils behaved well both in lessons and around the school. Pupils are courteous to visitors and to each other. Pupils wear their school uniform well. However, you are fully aware that you need to continue to monitor the progress and attendance of all pupils, including those supported by the pupil premium and those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities to ensure that any dips in attendance and/or progress are dealt with quickly.

In many lessons, teaching assistants are used very effectively to support the learning of pupils. As a result, the progress these pupils make in lessons is equal to their peers. However, you have identified, and it was noted during the inspection, that not all teaching assistants support pupils in this way”.


Next steps

  • In mathematics, ensure all pupils are given work that challenges them, regardless of their academic ability.
  • Ensure all Teaching Assistants are used to ensure that they support the effective learning of pupils.
  • Continue to focus on the progress and attendance of pupils supported by the pupil premium funding and those pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Pupil achievement

Overall, the governors’ view is that the school is very much on an upward trajectory with consistently improving results over a 3 year period. Further, there is a real opportunity to raise ambition and expectation across the school community and significantly improve results. KS4 has achieved the highest ever P8 score (provisional 0.17) representing substantial movement from last year's 0.03.



KS4 results are, however, uneven with strong performance in English, Maths and Science whilst having a negative residual in the third reporting "bucket". Our Pupil Premium (PP) gap between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils disappointedly widened this year. As such our SLT will increase their focus and strategic thinking on teaching and learning and outcomes for our PP pupils this academic year.

KS5 results have moved into the top 35% this year (ALPS 4), after three successive years of ALPS 3 “in the red” (top 25%).


Budgetary Position

Our financial position has significantly improved over the last 3 years, and is financially robust with a healthy surplus carried forward into this financial year. The National Funding Formula (NFF) has had a positive impact, with the school projecting balanced budgets over the short term. In the longer term the squeeze on SEN and Capital budgets, will likely impact on this surplus. This is based on the assumption of flat funding moving forward and ever increasing cost pressures. Pupil numbers are growing slightly and are projected to be relatively stable.


Key Strategic Aims and Priorities

In July 2017 the Governing Body agreed the following nine strategic aims and priorities: 

  • Developing great teaching and learning
  • Driving forward pupil progress further to above average
  • Looking after and motivating staff team
  • Parental / community engagement
  • Building productive relationships between teaching colleagues, SLT and Governing Body
  • Agreeing direction on future structural options
  • Securing financial stability – a “surplus with a purpose”
  • Supporting great pastoral care, behaviour and standards
  • Sixth Form growth, collaboration and sustainability  


Wider Community

The school communicates openly with all stakeholders across a variety of media, including events, open evenings, information evenings and through its website and social media channels. Having said this, there is much room to improve relations with the wider school community and, in this regard, the new Head Teacher will need to be an advocate and a force for change.

We enjoy a close relationship with the local community, in particular with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and specifically the Hartrigg Oaks retirement village. We work closely with Huntington High School to provide combined provision of sixth form courses. In addition, there is a strong and effective secondary heads group and a well established North East York Partnership, which includes 2 secondary schools and 10 primaries. We have always played a full and active part in the York education community and are happy to co-operate with others and share best practice. Our school draws from a number of primary schools and specifically Headlands, Ralph Butterfield, Wigginton, New Earswick, Yearsley Grove and Haxby Road academies.


Head teacher Support

Support is available from the Local Authority (LA), Research School at Huntington and school improvement alliances across the LA. In addition, the governing body would describe themselves as providing support and the right amount of challenge. Governors discuss the future direction of the school at regular intervals and there are no immediate plans to become an academy.


Living in York

The ancient city of York is a beautiful, thriving city with low unemployment and highly performing tourism, cultural and entertainments industries. York was voted the 'Best Place to Live' by the Sunday Times, in 2018. It’s rich in culture and heritage, a vibrant modern city still making history. It’s a city renowned for beautiful period buildings, historical city walls and the iconic Minster; but also for its cool cafes, destination restaurants, innovative businesses and the fastest internet in Britain. It’s a destination visited by 7 million people every year and is recognised on a regional, national and international stage.

York is a wonderfully compact city with all the amenities one could need whilst also having on its doorstep National Parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, quaint villages and market towns, and the Yorkshire coast.

You can find out more here:



Joseph Rowntree Foundation

City of York Council

Visit York

Welcome to Yorkshire




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