Ofsted praise 'rapidly improving' Hastings school

The Hastings Academy principal Stuart Smith celebrating the report with pupils from the school..
The Hastings Academy principal Stuart Smith celebrating the report with pupils from the school..

A Hastings secondary school has won praise from the education watchdog Ofsted for ‘rapidly improving’ in all aspects of school life.

Following a visit in January, The Hastings Academy in Rye Road received an overall rating of ‘Good’, marking the school’s significant progress since being rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ at its previous inspection.

The school won particular praise for its leadership and management – which was given the watchdog’s highest rating of ‘Outstanding’ – with principal Stuart Smith credited with ‘transforming’ the school and making rapid improvements.

In a report published on March 1, the lead inspector said: “Leaders are exceedingly honest and tenacious in seeking out areas that need further improvement. Consequently, school leaders have an accurate and insightful view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Ofsted also praised examples of strong teaching across a broad range of subjects – particularly maths, science and drama – but said more needed to be done to ensure the quality of English teaching was consistent across all year groups.

Inspectors also highlighted the ‘positive attitude of pupils at the school.’

Principal Stuart Smith said: “I am delighted about and exceptionally proud of this report and the outstanding achievements of all our students, staff, parents and carers. This success is not down to one person – it has needed, and will continue to need, the commitment, dedication and belief of everyone involved. By working together with our community, we can support our students to achieve their ambitions and aspirations.

“Everyone at the Academy is committed to continuing to improve further and to addressing the recommendations in the report. We will celebrate what we have achieved, and everyone should be proud, but this is just the start and foundation of our future success.”