Ofsted says Wellingborough academy remains outstanding after recent inspection

Victoria Bishop and some of the pupils celebrating the school's outstanding Ofsted inspection in January 2015

Victoria Bishop and some of the pupils celebrating the school's outstanding Ofsted inspection in January 2015

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Inspectors have said a school continues to be outstanding after another inspection.

Sir Christopher Hatton Academy in Wellingborough was judged as outstanding in January 2015.

But inspectors were back at the school earlier this month for a no formal designation monitoring inspection.

This type of inspection enables Ofsted to undertake inspections to follow up concerns about schools that are not in a category of concern but that have been brought to Ofsted’s attention.

The concern was about outcomes for pupils at the school, but following the inspection, inspectors have said the school remains outstanding.

They said senior leaders, led strongly by the executive principal, have high expectations of both pupils and staff, and leaders at all levels regularly check the quality of teaching.

They also said the school has rigorous systems in place for checking on the progress pupils are making and the provision for learners in the sixth form remains strong.

The report states: “In 2015 there was a decline in the proportion of pupils achieving good quality GCSEs, including English and mathematics.

“This was due to the academy’s policy of entering pupils early for these examinations.

“Senior leaders and governors, in agreement with parents, previously adopted this policy to ensure pupils in Years 10 and 11 received opportunities to improve their GCSE grades.

“After reviewing the situation, senior leaders have decided to cease this practice as it no longer serves the pupils’ best interests.

“Information on Years 10 and 11 indicates that a higher proportion of pupils are likely to achieve above national expectations in their GCSE subjects, particularly in English, mathematics and science.

“The proportion of most-able pupils who are on track and who are likely to achieve the highest grades has also increased.”

Following the latest inspection, principal Victoria Bishop said: “Like many other secondary schools locally Sir Christopher Hatton Academy was subject to an Ofsted inspection.

“We are delighted that the inspection team confirmed, once again, that Sir Christopher Hatton Academy continues to be outstanding.

“The published performance tables do not reflect the actual final outcomes for our students due to our early examination entry policy.

“We continue to be very proud of our students who leave the academy with outstanding results and best life chances.”

As part of the recent investigation, the school has been given two priorities for further improvement.

These are to ensure that leaders and teachers implement effective strategies to eradicate the very few incidents of off-task behaviour and ensure that all policies fully reflect the high level of effective practice that is taking place at the academy.

To read the latest inspection report, search for Sir Christopher Hatton Academy on the Ofsted website at http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/