Royal Wootton Bassett Academy leads way with 'Outstanding' Ofsted double

This Is Wiltshire: From left, Ross,Sophie, Rory, Shannon, Emily, Sammy and headteacher George Croxford at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Buy this photo » From left, Ross,Sophie, Rory, Shannon, Emily, Sammy and headteacher George Croxford at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy

ROYAL Wootton Bassett Academy has become the first school in the country to have been named ‘outstanding’ twice in a row.

Ofsted awarded the academy outstanding in every category in November despite the inspection taking the staff and students by surprise.

The report suggested only one improvement that could be made, which was to ensure students maximise their progress by extending the academy’s established good practice and encouraging them to reflect on and respond to their teachers’ advice.

It is thought that the academy’s achievement is the first in the UK since the change in the Ofsted guidelines.

David Gardner, chairman of the Academy Trust, said: “We were rated outstanding in every category by Ofsted back in 2010 and as far as we know we are the only secondary school to repeat that feat in the 2013 inspections.

“It is a fantastic accolade and a recognition of the dedication, skill and sheer hard work of all the staff over recent years, not forgetting the governors and students, who contributed to that success.

“Ofsted has significantly raised the bar since 2010 and many other schools have recently lost their outstanding status. So this confirmation is exactly what we needed and the whole community should be immensely proud that we have such an exceptional facility in Royal Wootton Bassett for the education of our young people.”

George Croxford, headteacher at the academy, was full of praise for his staff and students for their part in retaining the status.

He said: “I’m incredibly proud and absolutely ecstatic.

“They called us between noon and 2pm on the Wednes-day and they came in the next morning, so they saw us like we always are, it was just a snapshot of a normal day and it’s fantastic to have that recognition for the staff and the students.”

Ofsted was particularly impressed with how the academy nurtures students’ morality and sense of responsibility to others and the relationships that develop between staff and students.

The report said: “Teachers know their students very well and have excellent relationships with them in lessons. This promotes students’ strong independent learning skills and their passion for learning.

“The best sixth form teaching is frequently characterised by teachers and students sharing responsibility for high-quality learning, with both involved in discussion and debate.

“Around the school, students are polite and courteous to each other, to members of staff and to visitors.

“The school emphasises developing students’ moral standards, tolerance and responsibility towards others.

“The school’s outstanding promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural education pervades the school’s work.”

The report also praised the work of the staff.

It said: “Standards of teaching are outstanding in all years.

“The headteacher is supported by a very able team of leaders who share the same vision of securing the highest possible achievement for all students.

“Students are very well prepared for the next stage of their lives.”

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