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Ofsted full of praise for improvements at Whitehaven academy

Posted on by Bright Tribe

Latest Ofsted officially recognises the progress made by the senior leadership team and staff at the School praising “head teacher’s vision in turning Whitehaven Academy into a school of choice which serves its community with pride”.

Whitehaven Academy, a Bright Tribe Trust school in Whitehaven, Cumbria, has been commended in its recent Section 8 Ofsted Inspection for its efforts to drive school improvement and remove the special measures judgement imposed on the school last October.

The school, which has suffered from a legacy of historic underachievement prior to converting to academy status in 2014, has been officially judged to be taking ‘effective action’ towards the removal of special measures, the most positive outcome a school in special measures can achieve.

In particular inspectors praised the hard work of Principal Warren Turner, judging that the school’s progress was due largely to “the headteachers resolute leadership” and the way in which “morale has improved because teachers and leaders have faith in their headteacher”. They also commented that teachers “have subscribed to his vision for the school and are working with a common purpose to raise standards.”

Inspectors likewise praised the way in which, despite difficulties over recent months, the focus has remained on improving the school, both in terms of pupil outcomes and in relation to the school site itself. Inspectors noted that “the Trust has implemented a planned schedule of remedial work” and that it has “lobbied at the highest levels to seek support in providing a more definitive solution”.

Opportunities for teachers to network and share best practice with other Bright Tribe schools were also applauded with inspectors stating that “The school has become much more outward-facing. Subject leaders have derived enormous benefit from sharing ideas and expertise with colleagues from other schools and academies at regional subject network meetings.”

Improvements in behaviour at the school were also recognised with the report stating that, “There has been a marked change not only in pupils’ commitment to attend regularly but also in their attitude to learning. Pupils arrive looking smart and ready to learn.” Over the past year overall attendance figures have risen with year 13 attendance rising to 93% and behaviour logs at the school show a significant reduction in the most serious infringements of school rules. Fixed term exclusions have also declined by well over half.

Warren Turner, Principal at Whitehaven Academy commented on the report, “I am absolutely thrilled to see the hard work of staff at the academy paying off. I am determined to use the outcomes of this inspection to continue to drive improvement at an ever increasing pace. We look forward to our next inspection and the continued progress we expect to see then. With the ongoing support of staff, pupils and the wider school community I firmly believe we can be successful in creating an outstanding school of choice for the local community.”

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