Academy progress is praised

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

STAFF at a school that was slammed for be­ing ‘in­ad­e­quate’ have be­gun tak­ing ‘ ef­fec­tive ac­tions’ af­ter Of­sted found se­ri­ous weak­nesses in its last in­spec­tion.

Unity City Academy was told by Of­sted in­spec­tors that it needed to im­prove ur­gently af­ter the qual­ity of teach­ing, learn­ing and as­sess­ment was found to be in­ad­e­quate, with the read­ing age of a “high pro­por­tion” of pupils lower than it should be.

How­ever, the Ormesby Road, Mid­dles­brough, school was in­spected once again last month and was found to be mak­ing big im­prove­ments, with prin­ci­pal Gemma Si­mon be­ing praised for ac­cel­er­at­ing the “pace of im­prove­ment”.

Af­ter vis­it­ing the school again on May 3, in­spec­tors found that lead­ers and man­agers were work­ing hard to im­prove the stan­dards of the teach­ing and learn­ing.

The re­port said: “The prin­ci­pal has ac­cel­er­ated the pace of im­prove­ment since the pre­vi­ous in­spec­tion. She has clar­i­fied lead­er­ship roles and en­sured a con­sis­tent fo­cus on key ar­eas for im­prove­ment.

“She has de­vel­oped ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion plans and mea­sured progress to­wards goals on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

“While lead­ers and teach­ers are ex­pe­ri­enc- ing more chal­lenges, the morale of mid­dle lead­ers has in­creased as they value the clar­ity of di­rec­tion and ex­pec­ta­tion they now re­ceive.”

It added: “Se­nior lead­ers and mid­dle lead­ers are now much more ac­tively in­volved in mon­i­tor­ing the qual­ity of teach­ing, be­hav­iour and pupils’ progress.

“Pupils’ progress is re­viewed at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals and cur­ricu­lum lead­ers and direc­tors of learn­ing are asked to ac­count for the progress of pupils in their sub­jects and year groups.”

In De­cem­ber last year the school gov­er­nors were crit­i­cised by the gov­ern­ment in­spec­tors for the lack of proper scru­tiny, but they did act once a “break­down in lead­er­ship and man­age­ment be­came ap­par­ent”.

The Of­sted in­spec­tion came af­ter it was an- nounced that only 19.9% of pupils left the school with five A*-C GCSE grades in 2016 – the national av­er­age at the time was 69.9%.

Unity City Academy,Mid­dles­brough

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