Improvements At Six Academies Who Joined Outwood Family Last Year

There has been good news for the academies in Wakefield that were transferred to Outwood Grange Academies Trust following the collapse of an academies trust in 2017.

After the collapse of Wakefield City Academy Trust, six of the former trust’s academies were transferred to Outwood.

Since the new Outwood schools opened in Spring last year, a significant development plan has been implemented while all three primary schools and all three secondary schools have shown strong academic improvements.

One of the largest planned developments is the construction of a new 17 classroom teaching block at Outwood Academy Hemsworth. Planning permission was recently granted for the new building that will also house music and drama rooms, art rooms, a main hall and a dining room. 

This wasn’t the only good news for the former WCAT academy. This summer saw Outwood Academy Hemsworth achieve record GCSE results, where 54% of students achieved a grade 4 or higher in both Maths and English. This represents a significant 17% increase on the previous year.

Toby Rutter, Principal at Outwood Academy Hemsworth, said: “We believe we are on a journey here at Outwood Academy Hemsworth. One that will take us to being an Outstanding school.

“Our recent exam results have given us increased belief that we are on the right track, and the improvements are there for all to see. 

“The new planned developments also highlight just how exciting it is right now for us as an academy, as we replace the no longer suitable facilities with modern, state-of-the-art ones that will better allow us to support our students to reach their full potential.”

Outwood Academy City Fields and Outwood Academy Freeston, the two other secondary schools that joined Outwood, also saw improvements in their exam results this summer.

A major highlight from OA City Fields was the 15% increase in students who achieved a grade 5 or above in English and Maths, compared to 2018. Notably, 70% of students achieved a grade 5 in English which marked a sharp 21% increase on the previous year.

OA Freeston posted similar successes, with an almost 10% increase in the number of students who achieved grade 5 or above in both English and Maths. While 67% of students achieved grade 4 or above in the two subjects, marking a 15% increase on the previous year.

Martyn Oliver, Chief Executive of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, said: “Since joining Outwood, it has been fantastic to see the improvements and successes across the six academies.

“At the beginning of their journey with us, we announced our great plans to improve the infrastructure of these academies, and as each phase of the developments are completed the excitement levels for the future just get higher and higher.

“At Outwood we believe in putting students first, raising standards and transforming lives. To do this, we need to ensure we are giving children and students suitable facilities to fulfil their potential. That is what we will continue to keep on doing.”

All three primary schools which joined Outwood, Outwood Primary Academy (OPA) Bell Lane, OPA Newstead Green, and OPA Hill, have also shown progress in their Key Stage 2 results. 

When compared to 2018’s results, OPA Park Hill showed an improvement of 21% in children meeting their expected standard in Reading, Writing and Maths. While the primary academy has also undergone some development works, with the toilets being improved over the summer holiday.

OPA Bell Lane showed its strongest improvement in Maths, where 95% of children hit their expected standard in the subject which was a huge 17% increase on the previous year. 

While OPA Newstead Green also showed its biggest improvement in the same subject, with a 16% improvement leading to 73% of children achieving their expected standard in Maths. The primary academy’s reception has also undergone a remodelling to improve the safeguarding of children.