Academy plans standards boost
LINSLADE Academy has pre-empted this year’s Ofsted inspection with a development plan aimed at improving standards and opportunities for students in the fledgling new-style middle school.
The inspectors’ rigorous new-style report, which was published last week, is solid in its verdict about the Mentmore Road schoool’s standards without throwing out too many gold stars.
The school became an academy in June and, since Christmas, has been led by acting headteacher Ceri Elle. A new head, Kate Smith, joins the school in September.
A team swooped on the academy in March and spent two days observing lessons and meeting with teachers, staff and pupils as well as reading the results on an online survey conducted among parents.
The result has been that Linslade was marked as being satisfactory with the behaviour of pupils ranked good. The Ofsted reports currently grade one to four, with one as outstanding, two good, three satisfactory and four inadequate.
“This is a satisfactory school. It is not yet good because its leaders have not ensured that enough teaching is good across the school to support consistently good achievement, particularly in writing,” said the inspectors.
They use the word “satisfactory” throughout their report to describe most of the school’s teaching, lessons and leadership and say that Linslade needs to raise the bar for pupils, encourage the children to write at length instead of in soundbites and strengthen management.
The acting head, Ms Elle, told the LBO: “The senior leadership team and governors are pleased with many of the outcomes.
“We are proud of the hard work of staff and pupils over the last year and are confident that the school’s current development plan has all the right targets.
“Linslade Academy was inspected under the new framework, where revised criteria for judgements about schools make it harder to achieve the highest grades.
“The areas where the inspection team has pointed out areas for development are actually already in our school development plan. We’re not complacent. Our children are lovely and we have viewed the Ofsted inspection as a positive experience.”
Harold Liberty, the school’s head of music and acting deputy head, added: “The inspectors are very demanding but we have no disagreement over any attempts to raise standards.
“We are acting on a number of points which we’d already identified. We now have a clear idea about what needs to be done. We want the best possible education for our children.”
Ms Elle added: “We are currently improving our sports and drama departments. Two of our pupils have won drama scholarships to Eton and Berkhamsted, and we have a wealth of extra curricular activities.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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