Fulwood Academy turning corner

Fulwood Academy

Fulwood Academy

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Preston’s multi-million pound flagship academy is on the road to success, according to education watchdogs.

Fulwood Academy was placed into special measures by Ofsted last year.

Since then it has had a new headteacher, Stephen Henry, and a host of staff have been replaced.

Inspectors have since made three separate visits to the Black Bull Lane school, sitting in on lessons and talking to staff, pupils and senior leaders.

Although last summer’s GCSE and A level results were not up to standard, inspectors say academic standards are on course to improve.

And they have now given the green light for the school to take on newly-qualified teachers.

The latest report said progress made so far was impressive and singled out the “strong and decisive leadership” of the new head as being a key factor in the improvement since he took over the reins in April.

In her report, inspector Shirley Gornall said: “Staff have been persuaded by his vision and subscribe to the policies he has introduced,”

Since the last inspection, two senior leaders and eight other teachers have left.

However, two new assistant principals have been appointed, together with five permanent teachers.

Other staffing measures have been implemented, including setting up a coaching programme for new teachers.

Teachers who consistently get good results will be used to support less experienced staff.

The governing body has also been restructured and now includes an educational expert.

The pupil roll is improving and saw a record number of new starters this year. The number of new sixth formers is also the highest that the academy has seen since its inception.

Mr Henry said he was delighted with the progress and, in a letter to parents, he said the academy’s ambition was now to become “the best school in Preston”.

He added: “The report confirms that we are making speedy progress on coming out of special measures.

“The inspectors were pleased with the progress we have made in many areas.

“But, while we are pleased with this rapid progress, we are aware that there are areas where we still need to improve.

“I am confident we will address those areas and so, too, are Ofsted.”