‘This school is a team’ - Corby secondary judged as good

Principal Andy Burton with pupils from Kingswood Secondary Academy
Principal Andy Burton with pupils from Kingswood Secondary Academy

Kingswood Secondary Academy has been given a good rating by inspectors who say the school no longer requires improvement.

The school, run by Greenwood Academies Trust, had required improvement since an inspection in 2015. But after it was visited by Ofsted earlier this month, inspectors said that they had seen big improvements.

The report, compiled by lead inspector Rachel Tordoff, said: “The principal and other senior leaders have established a culture of high expectations and aspirations for both staff and pupils. Senior leaders communicate their vision effectively to staff.

”As a result, staff feel valued and their morale is high. In the words of one staff member, ‘This school is a team.’

“Senior leaders have undertaken a significant restructuring of the school’s leadership. All leaders now have clearly defined areas of responsibility and lines of accountability.

”With increased leadership capacity, leaders have overseen an appreciable improvement in the quality of the provision.”

Inspectors were impressed by the way in which the school monitors and supports vulnerable pupils and the way it spends additional funding for those pupils,who need extra help.

They said that the quality of teaching was ‘consistently good’ and that the careers service was a strength, adding: “The behaviour of pupils is good. Leaders’ consistent approach to behaviour and high expectations mean that pupils know what is expected of them. They value the ‘inspiration’ points they receive, rewarding their positive behaviour and attitudes.

”Over time, the proportion of pupils excluded from school has reduced. It is now only slightly above that seen nationally. This is also the case for those pupils who are excluded more than once.

”The number of pupils permanently excluded from school has reduced.

“Attendance has been slightly below the national average for the previous four years. The attendance of current pupils is improving, although these improvements are not consistent for all year groups or for boys.”

The inspectors said that the school still needed to improve its maths provision. The report said: “The teaching of mathematics is improving. However, some pupils are not challenged consistently to do well, particularly the most able.”

The School in Gainsborough Road was formerly called The Kingswood School and was made famous by a BBC fly-on-the -wall documentary that featured daily life at the school during the 1980s.

It was in Special Measures before Greenwood Academies Trust was brought in to sponsor it, changing its name to Kingswood Secondary Academy. Since then the school has steadily improved – culminating in today’s superb report.

It was taken over by the Greenwood Academies Trust in 2013. The inspection outcome means that all of the trust’s schools in Corby are now rated good or outstanding.

Principal Andy Burton said: “We are absolutely delighted with this report. I am so proud that Kingswood Secondary Academy is now rated Good – it is testament to the work of everyone involved with the school, from parents and pupils to the staff here. I am very proud of them all.

“We set ourselves, and the young people we serve, the highest expectations and standards to meet. The Ofsted report clearly recognises and values this. We are absolutely committed to providing the highest quality of education to our local community of Corby and will continue to drive forward improvements with this aim in mind.

“The school is now officially good for the first time in its history – we endeavour to be even better!”

Wayne Norrie, chief executive of Greenwood Academies Trust, said: “I am thrilled for Mr Burton and the whole team at Kingswood Secondary Academy. The report from Ofsted highlights the team’s hard work and dedication has been rewarded with this fantastic result. We know how hard the team has worked to serve the local community in Corby and we are extremely proud of this outcome.

“It is also a reflection of the wider work of Greenwood Academies Trust – to have all our schools in Corby rated good or outstanding is a real achievement, and we will all continue to work as hard every day to keep up the good work for the benefit of children and young people in the town.”