Staff and pupils at Stamford Welland Academy are celebrating after achieving the school’s best ever Ofsted report.
Ofsted inspectors judged Stamford’s only state-funded secondary school as good in all areas.
Today’s report comes less than three years after the former Queen Eleanor School joined the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust and reopened as Stamford Welland Academy.
At the school’s last inspection in January 2015, just a few months after the school joined the trust, Ofsted inspectors rated the school as requires improvement.
But the report following last month’s two-day visit heaps praise on the school’s leadership team and inspectors found that outcomes for pupils had improved.
Principal Anthony Partington said he was delighted with the Ofsted report, particularly that the welfare of pupils is good.
He said: “I am very proud of the hard work and commitment that has been shown by the members of staff, the pupils, the parents and the community to create a school that delivers the high quality education Stamford deserves.
“The report demonstrates that we are putting in place the right processes and insisting on the high standards that will help all children to achieve their very best.
“We will continue to work closely with our partner schools in CMAT to identify ways to improve all areas of the school, the opportunities we provide to our pupils, and the outcomes we deliver.”
Mr Partington said that over the last two years, there had been changes to the curriculum and extra-curricular activities and improvements to the quality of teaching, as well as extensively revamping the school’s facilities.
But despite the vast improvements, Mr Partington said there was still work to be done.
“It’s a continual development and we are always trying to move forward. There are some things where we can continue to improve but it is a good report,” he said.
As a school that’s rated good, Stamford Welland Academy can now link up with universities to improve training opportunities for teaching staff - and Mr Partington also wants to explore offering a sixth-form provision within two years.
At present the school has 356 on roll but Mr Partington would like to see it grow to accommodate 600 pupils.
He believes the good report will help to boost the school’s reputation in the community - along with the work in the school is doing to improve relationships with primary schools. The report recognises how supportive parents are of the school.
The publication of the 12-page report follows the school’s Key Stage 4 results last summer which were the best results the school has ever recorded. In the recent validated league table the academy was placed in the top 25 per cent of schools nationally for the amount of progress students made.
The inspectors said: “The highly effective leadership of the headteacher has led to rapid improvement at the school since the last inspection. He has built a strong and effective team of senior leaders who are determined and tenacious in their drive for school improvement.
“Each pupil is known as an individual and the work of the trust, school leaders and the governors reflects the schools’ ambition and aspiration that every pupil will be successful.”
Following consistent improvements in exam results since the academy joined the trust, inspectors found that outcomes for pupils had improved.
The inspectors said: “Pupils are making faster than average progress than the national average in most subjects.”
It said teachers respond quickly to under performance.
The school’s quality of teaching, learning and assessment was also considered to be ‘good’. It called safeguarding procedures “robust”.
The report adds: “Pupils benefit from good teaching, which means that they achieve well. Teachers carefully plan work that provides a good level of challenge for pupils across the ability range.”
The inspectors praised the academy’s pupils and found that both parents and pupils spoke highly of their experiences; and that a caring and supportive environment had been created at the school.
The report said: “Pupils are rightly proud of their school and their individual achievements. Their positive attitudes to learning ensure that they make good progress and grow in confidence. They discuss quite complex issues with maturity and respect, both for each other and the topic under discussion.”
The report said that to improve further teachers should consistently use the school’s marking procedure and have high expectations of the standards of work.
It also said the school should place greater emphasis on preparing pupils for life in modern Britain by improving its religious education and spiritual links.