Wellingborough academy 'requires improvement' says education watchdog

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Education watchdog inspectors have ruled a Wellingborough academy 'requires improvement' after their most recent visit.

Oakway Academy bettered its previous 'inadequate' rating from 2017 and although adjudged to need improvement it was found to be 'good' in three of the five inspection categories.

The school, part of the Hatton Academies Trust, was judged as 'good' in its effectiveness of leadership and management, its personal development, behaviour and welfare, and its early years provision.

It 'requires improvement' in its quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and its outcomes for pupils.

"The quality of teaching and pupils’ learning and progress are inconsistent," wrote lead inspector John Lawson.

"Some pupils do not achieve as well as they should.

"Leaders have not ensured that some of their initiatives are applied consistently well.

"Those responsible for governance are not as effective as they could be in holding the school to account.

"Teachers sometimes do not ensure that pupils, including those who speak English as an additional language, understand and use important vocabulary in different subjects.

"Pupils’ writing is sometimes let down by weak spelling, grammar and punctuation."

Among the positives noted by Mr Lawson were the improving standards of leaders who are "establishing a culture of higher expectations".

The academy has an "ethos of mutual respect" and the pupils - who are described as well behaved with good manners - progress well from starting points in the early years.

"Staff promote pupils’ personal development very well," the report states.

"Pupils are taught to have increasingly high aspirations for themselves.

"The quality of teaching is improving. Pupils, including those who are disadvantaged, are making improving progress. Outcomes are improving."

Inspectors found the school's curriculum to be "broad and balanced" and was enhanced by a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities.

Oakway Academy Principal Clare Wallace said: "I am very proud of the progress Oakway Academy's children, staff and parents have made over the past two years.

"The recent acknowledgement of our progress by both Ofsted and challenge partners will enable us to continue to plan and prioritise, continually improving outcomes for all of our children.

"I am looking forward to working with the children, staff and parents in the coming months to celebrate our successes and move forward in our journey of improvement."

Rob Hardcastle, the acting CEO of Hatton Academies Trust, said he was extremely proud of the staff, pupils and parents at the school.

"We are pleased that Ofsted has acknowledged that the principal and senior leaders have an uncompromising drive and ambition to improve the school and have complete confidence that this journey is well underway," he said.

The full report can be read here.