School Suffers Set-Back Ahead Of Potential Record-Breaking Summer

A Doncaster secondary school, which was graded by Ofsted as Outstanding and is expecting its highest ever student outcomes, has received a Requires Improvement judgement after a recent Ofsted Inspection.

Outwood Academy Adwick was inspected by the education watchdog on 26 and 27 March this year. Despite inspectors praising the Academy’s new leadership and grading that as Good, the school saw its overall Ofsted rating move from Outstanding to Requires Improvement.  

The principal of the academy and the Chief Executive of the Trust that sponsors the Academy have already spoken in agreement with this judgement and pointed to the significant progress made already, leading to Ofsted Good rating for the Academy’s leadership.

Ofsted first graded the school as Outstanding in February 2016 after being in Special Measures since 2002, improving to Requires Improvement in 2013 shortly after joining Outwood Grange Academies Trust.

Martyn Oliver, the CEO of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, said: “We are pleased that Ofsted stated that the academy is well supported by the Trust and that the vast majority of pupils enjoy going to the school.

“However we recognise that recent challenges from the rapid expansion in the number of pupils attending the popular school along with the challenges that all schools are facing in recruiting teachers has had an impact on the academy.  

“Having re-doubled our efforts which includes putting in place an excellent new Principal, Andy Scruby, I am delighted that we are already seeing great improvements which Ofsted recognised and that we are heading for yet another record-breaking set of results this year.

“Parents and the community should rest assured that the Trust is confident that it has the capacity to quickly return Adwick, especially with this year’s results, to its former position. All our other 21 academies that have been inspected by Ofsted are rated Good or Outstanding, including eight that have received this grading within the last two terms alone.”

The inspectors’ report said that since his appointment six months ago, Andy Scruby has been ‘forthright in his efforts to improve the school.’ 

By implementing rigorous systems for monitoring the quality of teaching in the school, positive effects were being seen on pupils’ outcomes. The inspectors also noted that due to this ‘the decline has now been halted.’

Work done by the school’s leadership to address the inconsistencies in the quality of teaching were also noted by Ofsted inspectors who said that the leadership had acted ‘effectively to develop a team of skilled teaching and support staff to address the inconsistencies in the quality of teaching.’

Andy Scruby, who was appointed Principal at Outwood Academy Adwick in November 2018, said: “We were naturally disappointed at the outcome of the recent Ofsted inspection but we fully accept and agree with their judgement.  

“Staff are committed to improving every aspect of school life and Adwick will continue to be a school which its students and the community can be justly proud. There’s no doubt the report identifies some challenges, but it has also highlighted some very positive areas which are a credit to the staff and pupils.”

Whilst the Ofsted report highlighted areas requiring improvement such as the quality of teaching being variable and the rates of student attendance and persistent absence improving too slowly, there were also many strengths noted. These strengths include the Post 16 programmes which were judged to be Good and Leadership and Management which was also judged as Good.

In recent years the popular Windmill Balk Lane-based secondary school has undergone an expansion in its pupil numbers on roll of over 10%, from 914 in 2014 to its current number of 1018.