Staff and pupils at a Melton school are celebrating today (Monday) after an Ofsted report said it was now ‘good’ after previous inspections rated it as ‘inadequate’ and then ‘requiring improvement’.
An inspection team of three observed 23 lessons at Long Field Academy and talked to staff, pupils, governors and academy trustees before giving their verdict.
Aside from the overall rating, the school was also given a ‘good’ score for all of the main areas of examination - effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare and the outcomes for pupils.
Principal Chris Haggett said: “We are delighted by a strong Ofsted report, which recognises the time and commitment that staff, governors, parents and students have given to Long Field.
“We’ve worked together over three years, and our ‘good’ Ofsted is recognition of a real joint effort.
“It was also noted that morale was good amongst the staff who are also delighted with the result.”
Mr Haggett, who took up his role in June 2015, added: “More than anything, I was pleased to see Long Field recognised as a ‘happy’ school.
“Inspectors understood what we have tried to do here, and that it was about more than turning the school around.
“Instead, we’ve concentrated on putting in place the basis of a really successful future for Long Field at the heart of Melton life.”
Inspectors praise the quality of teaching and the leadership of head Chris Haggett in their report and also highlight the way staff discussions take place on the progress of individual pupils.
The teaching team are also said to effectively support those children who fall behind in their learning and studies with struggling students quickly identified.
The Ofsted report also indicates that behaviour of pupils if typically good and attendance records have improved with most children having a positive attitude towards learning.
Number of pupils who receive a fixed-term exclusion for poor behaviour have fallen, the inspectors say, although disadvantaged pupils continue to be
excluded for fixed terms more than their peers.
Part of the report states: “Pupils and parents recognise the school’s improvement since the last inspection.
“They share their gratitude for the efforts made by all staff, but are particularly appreciative of the principal’s work.
“A growing number of parents are now choosing to send their children to the school.”
There was also praise for the governance of trustees from the Spencer Academies Trust and also from school governors, who are descrived as ‘professional, skilled and dedicated to the roles they fulfil’.
The inspectors found that pupils took great care in their school and that records showed that incidents of bullying and racism were rare with pupils
confirming that any which do happen are dealt with swiftly by staff.
Spencer Academies Trust chief executive, Paul West, said: “We’re so pleased for Christopher and his staff.
“Long Field is an example of what an inspirational leader can do.
“Christopher has raised the bar for everybody in the school and students, parents and staff have risen to that challenge.
“Together, they’ve built a school to be proud of.”
The inspectors highlighted areas where the school does need to improve, including raising the quality of teaching and learning and accelerating the progress of pupils.
There should be more opportunities provided for pupils to develop the more difficult skills in English, especially the boys, the report says.
Long Field should also improve disadvantaged pupils’ behaviour and their attitudes to learning by ensuring that leaders develop more effective ways to ensure that they attend more regularly and reduce the number of them who receive fixed-term exclusions.