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Academy Drive to Improve is on Track

posted 7 Mar 2014, 05:41 by Google Google   [ updated 7 Mar 2014, 05:44 ]

The recent Ofsted report has highlighted that Felixstowe Academy 'Requires Improvement'.  They went on to say that 'Senior Leaders and Governors are securing rapid improvements.  They are demonstrating that they have the capacity to develop better quality teaching and raise achievement'.

The judgement of 'Requires Improvement' is therefore encouraging in that Ofsted have clearly identified the improvements that have been made and are confident that 'decisive action has been taken to tackle under performance... and as a result of these actions, achievement is rising'. 

Although Ofsted highlight that 'a significant number of students did not achieve what was expected of them in 2012' they went on to say that 'the Academy's most recent data indicates that teaching is improving.  It has been judged good or better in the majority of lessons seen'.  The report went on to add 'Inspectors observed good teaching in a number of lessons'. 

Ofsted recognised the important contribution made by the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), represented by Mr Stephen Chamberlain (Executive Principal), in addressing the issues they inherited from the two predecessor schools.  Ofsted said 'Support provided by the sponsor, particularly by the Executive Principal, in instigating new procedures to strengthen assessment and the monitoring of teacher's performance has contributed directly to tackling some of the major weaknesses that led to the Academy's underperformance in it's first year.'

Prior to the establishment of the Academy in 2011, choice for parents was between two predecessor schools each judged by Ofsted as Satisfactory.  The new and more rigorous criteria used by Ofsted in the recent inspection at Felixstowe Academy clearly shows that in a short space of time improvements have been made and more importantly that there is good capacity to improve even further.

Ofsted recognised that 'The merging of two schools into one Academy and students having to travel between two different sites for lessons is being managed effectively.  However, staff and students are eager to move to a single site'.

The decision by the Governing Board and the AET to appoint Mr Andrew Salter to the post of substantive Principal from March 2013 was recognised by Ofsted when the said 'New appointments, particularly the substantive Principal, are providing greater stability for the Academy and further capacity to make improvements.' They went on to say 'The Principal's evaluation is largely accurate.  He knows the academy well and recognises most of its strengths and weaknesses.  He has the full backing of the governing board' and the vast majority of staff.  Senior leaders are showing they have the capacity to lead major improvements to the academy but they need more time to demonstrate their full impact in securing it's long term success'

The strength of Governance is in the fact that it is made up of local members of the community that have a passion and commitment to seeing education improve for the whole town, putting Felixstowe Academy at the heart of the community.  Ofsted recognised this strength and said 'The members of the governing board are experienced, knowledgeable, and wholly committed to making the Academy a success. They understand their roles and responsibilities in supporting staff and teachers, leaders and managers in their quest to deliver planned improvements.'

Although appointed as substantive Principal in March, Mr Salter has been committed to delivering high standards of education within Felixstowe for a number of years.  Indeed, as Leader of the Arts Faculty, in particular Music, has been at the forefront of building positive relationships within the local community.

As Ofsted highlighted, Mr Salter is fully aware of his role in leading progress within the Academy saying 'We are currently on a journey in a period of great change.  I am building and leading a team of committed professionals who are as passionate as I am in delivering an 'outstanding' educational experience in Felixstowe and surrounding area.' 

'I want to ensure that all young people have the same opportunities to realise their potential in developing skills and talents that will enable them to compete on an equal basis for places in education beyond the Academy and in the world of work with other young people nationally. I also want our young people to be good and responsible citizens, caring for each other and for the community in which they and their families live.'

'We are well aware that there is a distance to travel on this journey to becoming an 'Outstanding' Academy, and that there is much for us to do in winning the hearts and minds of parents/carers and the wider community in sharing this vision. I want to see Felixstowe Academy at the heart of the local community, somewhere where we are all proud to say we belong.'

Susan Robinsons, Chair of Governors said of the report “The Governing Board, several of whom have children at the Academy ,are committed to grasping the once in a lifetime opportunity being given to Felixstowe to improve secondary education for young people in our town by the creation of Felixstowe Academy and to provide our students and community with an academy in which they can take pride. We welcome the positive comments from Ofsted about the progress already being made towards this improvement and the recognition of the role of the Governing Board in driving this forward.  We will continue to work closely with the Principal and senior leaders of the Academy to build on this initial progress for the benefit of the young people that we serve.” 

To read the report, please either visit the Ofsted section of our website, or click on the link below:

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7 Mar 2014, 05:44