Delight over academy’s first Ofsted report

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An academy’s first Ofsted report has been described as “a delight to read”.

West St Leonards Primary Academy, which opened in 2013 as part of the Hastings Academies Trust, was rated ‘outstanding’ in four of the five categories and ‘good’ over all following its two-day inspection in October.

Principal Frances Robinson said she was “extremely pleased” with the report, which was published on Wednesday (November 16).

Lead inspector Lee Selby found teaching at the academy to be “typically outstanding”, while children had “excellent attitudes” when it came to learning. Reception children were seen to be making an “outstanding” start to their school lives, while the progress made by disadvantaged youngsters was improving.

Mr Selby said: “The principal sets high standards and aspirations for all of her pupils, irrespective of their background or ability.

“She believes that all pupils can achieve well and has the expectation that they will.

“Similarly, the expectations on teachers in this school are high.”

He added: “Pupils’ personal development during their time at the school is a strength. They become mature and respectful citizens and behave exceptionally well in class.”

Mr Selby noted attendance was “stubbornly low” but recognised school leaders were making “every possible effort” to improve this.

Looking to the future, he said: “Given the many strengths across the school, leaders should now focus more sharply on the progress pupils make from their starting points to improve outcomes overall.”

Mrs Robinson said: “We are extremely pleased with the Ofsted report, and I am very proud that the achievements of West St Leonards pupils, staff and parents have been recognised in this way.

“Our desire to continually improve the quality of teaching and learning for pupils is relentless, and we are already addressing the small number of recommendations in the report.”

Paul Griffiths, chief executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, sponsor of the Hastings Academies Trust, added: “It is a delight to read this report. It is overwhelmingly outstanding in its praise for the work of West St Leonards, and is a well-deserved recognition of the academy’s achievements.”

Their enthusiasm was shared by parents who completed Ofsted’s Parent View survey.

Some 95 per cent said their children were taught well and were making good progress, while 90 per cent thought the academy was well managed and 94 per cent said their child was happy and they would recommend West St Leonards to another parent.

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