Hastings primary school praised by Ofsted for making rapid improvement

Baird Primary Academy principal Carly Welch pictured with pupils. SUS-190219-113630001
Baird Primary Academy principal Carly Welch pictured with pupils. SUS-190219-113630001

A Hastings primary school has been praised for making improvements after Ofsted found it to be ‘good’ in all areas following a recent inspection.

The Baird Primary Academy was visited by Ofsted on January 16 and 17 and in a report published this month, was found to be ‘good’ in all five areas – effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for pupils; and early years provision.

The report was a marked improvement on its previous inspection, when the school was found to be ‘inadequate’.

The school’s principal Carly Welch said: “The positive assessment marks a period of significant improvement and change for the school. This is a gratifying acknowledgement for our whole school community.

“Our pupils, staff, local board members, parents and carers have worked together with passion and dedication.

“Together, we are creating a safe, inclusive environment, steeped in mutual respect.

“We place children’s needs at the heart of our work. It is their nurture, well-being and aspirations that drive the school’s ethos. I am delighted that most parents who spoke to inspectors noted that the school had improved dramatically in the past two years.”

The Ofsted report states: “The principal leads the school with total commitment. She and other leaders have ensured that the school has improved rapidly since the last inspection.

“Most pupils are now making good or better progress. Some pupils are making accelerated progress to catch up, because the quality of teaching and learning is good.

“Relationships between pupils and staff are strong. Pastoral care is a particular strength and the well-being of pupils is given the highest priority by all staff.

“Systems to protect pupils from harm are well developed. Staff are proactive when they have concerns about the welfare of pupils.

“Most pupils behave well. Pupils disapprove of disruptions to their learning. Incidents of poor behaviour have reduced dramatically over time.”

Inspectors also said pupils “are proud of their school” and felt “safe and well cared for”.

The Baird Primary Academy joined the University of Brighton Academies Trust, sponsored by the University of Brighton, in 2014.

The role of the trust is also commended in the report: “Those in positions of governance know the school well. School leaders benefit from good-quality guidance given by key staff from the multi-academy trust. The school’s rapid progress is a direct result of the support and challenge given to leaders by the trust.”

Dr John Smith, chief executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: “I whole-heartedly congratulate The Baird on this ‘good’ judgement.

“I note with pride Ofsted’s recognition that pastoral care is a particular strength and the well-being of pupils is given the highest priority.

“Since the school joined the trust it has been steadily striving to meet the needs of its community and uplift their Ofsted result.

“This result is confirmation that both The Baird Primary Academy and the University of Brighton Academies Trust are meeting our ambitions to deliver excellent education for the children of Sussex and to ensure all children reach their full potential.”

To view the full report, visit https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/21/140493.

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