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  • Robert Clack School
    Gosfield Road
    RM8 1JU
  • Head: Sir Paul Grant
  • T 020 8270 4200
  • F 020 8270 4210
  • E
  • W
  • A mainstream state school for pupils aged from 11 to 18
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Barking & Dagenham
  • Pupils: 2,070
  • Religion: Non-denominational
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Good 1
      • Outcomes for children and learners Good 2
      • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Good 2
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding 2
    • 1 Short inspection 13th September 2016
    • 2 Full inspection 9th October 2013

    Short inspection reports only give an overall grade; you have to read the report itself to gauge whether the detailed grading from the earlier full inspection still stands.

  • Previous Ofsted grade: Outstanding on 12th December 2007
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

‘People rolled about in the aisles when I said this could be an exemplary school – they’re not laughing now,’ he says. It’s sport, according to the head, that is largely responsible for turning this school around. ‘Sport develops things like pride, self-discipline, teamwork, confidence and empathy, all of which then feed through into other areas of school life.’ Pupils are polite, resilient, articulate and hard-working. And although they are typically from under-achieving backgrounds, the school says most parents...

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What the school says...

This is an outstanding school. Students enter the school with standards that are broadly average; they make outstanding progress to achieve substantially higher than average results in national examinations in Year 9 and at GCSE.

Thank you for hosting an enlightening visit from our guests from the Bahrain Ministry of Education. Their feedback has been very positive and our colleagues have returned to Bahrain full of new ideas that will develop their thinking as they continue their programme of education reform.
Letter from the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust July 2010

Robert Clack is an outstanding school. The ambition of the school to ensure academic excellence and emotional intelligence, and resilience to equip your students for the future is palpable. Your belief that their ability to achieve shows them that each and every one of them is valued
Helen Jenner, Corporate Director of Childrens Services (LBBD) March 2010

When a Headteacher is knighted for his services to local and national education you get a pretty good idea of the kind of school he runs. An when that same school wins a top state school award (from The Evening Standard) there can be little doubt, if any remained, as to the calibre of education pupils can expect. Take into account the fact that the school serves 2,000 pupils in two of the poorest wards in England and the achievements are even more remarkable. It is no wonder Robert Clack is hugely oversubscribed. Ofsted cites, it is as an outstanding example of how to raise standards in the poorest area. The school has a new Rugby Academy too.
Section of an article from The London Magazine May 2010

Thank you very much for agreeing to our visit to Robert Clack School. I write to say how wonderfully kind your staff were to us with their time as well as their reassurances.
The real stars are of course the students in Year 9 whose Assembly we attended and the Year 7 Student Council group who left me with some great anecdotes.
It was an unforgettable day truly beneficial and we aspire to the Clack model.
Deputy Head, Elliott School, South London May 2010

I got a very good feeling when I entered your school. People are welcoming and it was clean. I have never judged one of these events before but think that the Youth Philanthropy Initiative is brilliant.
Letter from Sinclair Beecham, Co-Founder of Pret-a-Manger re: Youth Philanthropy Initiative Presentations May 2010

I am writing to express my profound gratitude to you, your staff and students for the welcome I received during my visit to Robert Clack School. I was hugely impressed by the schools ethos, in particular by the hard work and positive attitude shown by every student who I had the privilege to meet.
Letter from the Headteacher, Sir John Leman High School, Suffolk December 2009

I am writing to congratulate your school for being the second best employer in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies 2010. It is indeed a great achievement, not only for the school, but also for the Borough.
Letter from Councillor R Gill, LBBD March 2010

National Contribution
Progress at Robert Clack School has also been recognised in the TES, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, the Evening Standard.

The Evening Standard August 2004
In August 2004, in the Evening Standard, the following comments were made about Robert Clack School in the editorial entitled, A School Success: This newspaper has often been obliged to draw attention to the deficiencies of state schools in London. It is a real pleasure today, then, to applaud the extraordinary success of a school which has achieved remarkable results despite every possible social disadvantage.

BBC Programme, The Schools Lottery April 2006
In April 2006, the school was heavily featured in BBC TVs acclaimed series, The Schools Lottery, which included a visit to the school by singer/songwriter Sandie Shaw who was once a pupil at Robert Clack.

TES re: Jim Knights Visit to the School January 2007
In December 2006, the school was visited by Jim Knight, Minister for Schools and featured in a Keynote speech by him in January 2007. The Minister commented that Robert Clack had not only achieved huge improvements in GCSE results but also bucked the trend for achievement in white, working class boys. He said, Here, white working class boys arent being left behind. They are matching girls attainment and outperforming them in some subjects. (Times Educational Supplement, 12th January 2007).

The Daily Telegraph March 2007
Jim White, lead Sports Writer of The Daily Telegraph, in an article entitled, How Rugby Turned Bad Boys into Ambassadors (3rd March 2007) highlighted the sporting and academic achievements of pupils at Robert Clack School, and the impending visit of Prince Charles. He wrote, If he is like me, the Prince of Wales will leave thinking this is a school to which he would have happily sent his own children.

HRH The Prince of Wales visit to Robert Clack School March 2007
On 8th March 2007, HRH The Prince of Wales made his historic visit to Robert Clack School. He became the very first member of the Royal family to visit a school in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Lord Melvyn Bragg, Professor Niall Ferguson and Sir Clive Woodward O.B.E. have also visited the school in recent years.
...Read more

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 1997, Sir Paul Grant MA (late 50s). Famously promoted from head of humanities at a time when the school was going to the dogs, he has since transformed it into such a success story that it still continues to attract the national media. The eldest of seven children from a working-class Liverpudlian family, he is laid-back and unpretentious – not the type to talk himself up, but with a clear sense of leadership bubbling away underneath. This combination, together with his unwavering belief that every single child can be excellent with the right schooling, has won him enormous and ongoing respect from pupils, parents and staff.

A keen football fan, who had once hoped to turn professional, he attended the Salesian Grammar School in Bootle, where a teacher inspired him...

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