Academy taking the right steps

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A Lightcliffe school is taking effective action towards the removal of special measures according to OFSTED chiefs.

The inspection by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills Chris Smith, was the fourth monitoring inspection at Lightcliffe Academy since it became subject to special measures following the OFSTED inspection which took place in May 2014.

Inspectors noted the changes in teaching and staffing since the school completed the process of converting to an academy under the sponsorship of the Abbey Multi Academy Trust.

“The profile of teaching in the academy has changed significantly since the last monitoring visit.

“Approximately one third of teachers are new to the academy.

“All new teachers have received a comprehensive induction programme and training that has stressed the need to set high expectations, to challenge students’ learning and behaviour and to provide good-quality marking and feedback.

“Leaders have carried out lesson observations of all teachers new to the academy. As a result, they have a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses in teaching.

“This shows that inadequate teaching has been almost completely eradicated.”

Principal Tom Rothwell, along with his new team, have stated they intend to awaken a ‘sleeping giant’ as he aims to turnaround the school.

The inspection letter also highlighted the positive start the senior leadership team has made.

“Following a period of unprecedented change, the new senior leadership team, which consists largely of leaders new to the academy, has made a promising start.

Each member of the senior team has precise responsibilities for which they are clearly accountable.

“Senior leaders are ambitious and impatient to increase the pace of change. All were disappointed with the examination results from the summer and are determined to secure a rapid improvement in outcomes for students.

“Members of staff unanimously recognise the culture and climate in the academy has changed. In particular, members of staff appreciate the clear sense of direction and feel changes that are being made are meaningful and sensible.

“Teachers commented that they feel increasingly listened to and are more involved in key decisions. As a result, morale is high.”