Trust disappointed as Wellingborough academy rated inadequate by Ofsted

Inspectors have said Rushden Academy is inadequate
Inspectors have said Rushden Academy is inadequate

An education trust has expressed its disappointment after one of its schools was rated inadequate by Ofsted.

Inspectors visited Ruskin Academy in Wellingborough in July and have just published their findings, rating the school as inadequate in all areas; effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare, and outcomes for pupils.

Inadequate is the lowest rating a school can be given by Ofsted.

The report states: “In accordance with the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the

persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.”

The Education Fellowship, which runs the school, has said how disappointed it is with the result, but added that they are sure inspectors will see a change when they next return to the school.

Lizzie Rowe, chief operating officer for The Education Fellowship, said: “This is without doubt a very disappointing report from Ofsted.

“Inspectors visited a school in a state of transition where we had an acting principal who had been in her role for just five weeks at the time of inspection following a period when we had an interim principal in position whilst we continued our search for a substantive principal.

“It was a difficult process to find effective and permanent leadership at Ruskin but we are pleased to have appointed a new principal who began at the academy on September 1.

“We have also appointed a new permanent deputy principal and are confident that these senior appointments will have an immediate positive impact in the academy.

“They will be supported three days a week by an experienced senior trust colleague who will focus on teaching and culture and for one day a week by a fellowship executive principal.

“We are grateful to the acting principal who, in the short time she was with us the inspector notes, was ‘successful in raising staff morale’ and ‘raising teachers’ expectations of how pupils should behave’.

“The trust’s academy outcomes director provided extensive support to the acting principal and together they worked to a clear plan to raise standards during her tenure.

“We expect our next visit from Ofsted before Christmas and are sure inspectors will see the immediate positive impact the new principal and vice principal bring, and will be able to inspect a school at the start of a time of rapid change and improvement rather than reporting on a school in a state of transition.”

The report says pupils make poor progress through the school, pupils’ attainment is consistently below the national average by the end of Key Stage 2, the teaching of reading is weak, progress made by disadvantaged pupils is poor, the number of exclusions in the current year is very high, the curriculum is poorly planned and pupils’ spelling is weak.

However, inspectors also said strengths include pupils are using ambitious vocabulary to make their writing livelier and pupils who speak English as an additional language make expected progress through the school.

The previous rating for the school, which has 260 pupils aged seven to 11, was requires improvement.

To read the report in full, click here