Swindon Academy praised for its efforts to improve
5:30am Monday 10th February 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
SWINDON Academy, which is under increased scrutiny from the schools inspectorate after failing to impress last year, has come on leaps and bounds after appointing a swathe of new teachers.
The school has been under the watchful eye of Ofsted since January 2013 after it was deemed to need improvements.
And a recent inspection has praised the work done so far, while the school says they will continue to strive to become better.
After an inspection last month, inspectors wrote: “Since the last inspection there have been considerable changes in staffing with 28 new teachers. A new primary headteacher took up her post in September 2013, along with six curriculum leaders in the secondary phase.
“The school has appointed high quality, well qualified staff to support learning in the classrooms.
“Significantly, there has been a dramatic reduction of exclusions and incidents of poor behaviour, particularly in the primary phase.
“Good quality training programmes for all staff and close links with outstanding schools have increased their understanding of what needs to be done and how change can be achieved successfully.
“There is a coherent and consistent approach to driving school improvements at all levels and across the different phases of the school. Staff have responded well to this challenge, morale is high and there is a palpable determination to make Swindon Academy an outstanding school.”
Ruth Robinson, principal of Swindon Academy, said while they welcomed the report, they would look to improve for the sake of the community rather than inspectors.
“We have worked extremely hard over the last year and this report really reflects how it has paid off,” she said.
“There has been a huge change at the academy, and one of the main things we have done is give a lot of training and professional development to our teachers.
“We do a lot of checking of the quality of the pupils’ work, and while teachers work extremely hard already, they have to follow that up.
“What we have got now is a really strong staff. A band of those have served the academy for many years, along with the new aspect of teachers who have come in with experience, ambition and drive.
“They have brought in an extra level of experience, and we have got some really highly qualified leaders and teachers.
“A lot of the new staff we have brought in are additional staff, but inevitably others will get promotions or move on. “We get a lot of money from pupils on free school meals, and sometimes we spend that on extra staff.
“I always say to my staff the work we are doing is not about Ofsted, it is about giving our pupils the right life choices. It is not about Ofsted, it is about being a really good school day in and day out.
“Scrutiny can bring its pressures but we want to be great for the community we serve.”