Once slammed school is improving say inspectors

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Government inspectors say Preston’s multi-million pound flagship academy is steadily improving after being plunged into special measures three years ago.

Despite still being Ofsted rated as ‘requires improvement’, Fulwood Academy now has two out of five categories rated as ‘good’.

The academy has been slowly improving ever since it was given the lowest grade possible in October 2013 and inspectors now rate the school as ‘good’ in the areas of ‘Effectiveness of leadership and management’ and ‘Personal development, behaviour and welfare’.

Inspectors visited the school at the end of October and in a 12-page report said: “The principal has taken decisive action to tackle the school’s remaining weaknesses. He is well supported by the senior leadership team and middle leaders.

“Leaders have tackled weaknesses in teaching rigorously. The proportion of weaker teaching has reduced.”

But the Black Bull Lane school for 11 to 18-year-olds, was still rated as ‘requires improvement’ in three areas.

The report stated pupils were not making good progress in English and Mathematics and that “teaching is not yet consistently strong enough across all subjects to ensure that all groups of pupils make good progress”.

The sponsor-led academy, which was formed in 2009 and has 749 pupils, has been given two keys points to improve on in the report, if it is to improve further.

These are “accelerating the progress of all pupils throughout Years 7 to 11” and “rapidly reduce the gap in the achievement of disadvantaged pupils”.

And Stephen Henry, principal at the Academy said he was glad inspectors could see progress was being made as well as outlining his targets for the future.

He said: “We are pleased that again Ofsted has recognised that the academy is improving in many areas. In particular that good leadership has improved the quality of teaching and learning.

“We set ourselves high expectations and the staff and pupils are rising to this and this has rightly been recognised. “We are firmly focused on improving the life chances of all our young people and a good academic grounding is key to unlocking their future.