Following a recent Ofsted inspection, Fulwood Academy has been moved out of special measures, just as a new headteacher has taken over.
The school has improved across all categories but is overall classified as requiring improvement according to the latest report, which comes following inspections in February and July of this year, when the previous headteacher, David Lancaster, was in charge.
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Fulwood Academy was most highly rated for student's development, which was classified as "good" by the education watchdog.
The report said: “The personal development curriculum is raising pupils’ aspirations. For example, pupils said that their teachers help them to make links between the subjects that they are studying and possible future careers.”
It added: “pupils across the school, including those who are disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are making better progress through the curriculum than in the past.”
The inspectors also noted that “pupils are happy at Fulwood Academy" and "value the support that they get from staff", who they believe care about their well-being and educational progress.
Leaders were also praised for taking: “appropriate action to increase the breadth and ambition of the curriculum for all pupils,” with the report stating that: “across key stage 3, pupils study a broad range of subjects in line with the national curriculum. More pupils at key stage 4 are choosing subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate. This is because leaders and teachers are raising their expectations of what pupils can and should achieve.”
However, the school does still require improvement in the categories, 'Leadership and Management', 'Quality of education' and 'Behavior and attitudes' according to Ofsted,
In regards to quality of education, the report said: "pupils do not benefit from a curriculum that is delivered consistently well. Some teachers do not ensure that pupils remember new learning as well as they should. Although there are recent signs of improvement, pupils have underachieved for many years by the time they leave key stage 4."
Despite this, the report still marks progress, as in the last full inspection in February 2019, the school was deemed inadequate for all categories, meaning it was placed under special measures.
Inadequate schools are normally inspected and monitored within 30 months of the latest inspection report, and can be inspected at any time if there are concerns, with no notice required.
Commenting on the school's improvements, interim headteacher, Lee McLinden, said: “This Ofsted is testament to the amazing efforts that our staff and students have gone to over the last few years.
“Despite the pandemic, we have not stood still and have made huge efforts to ensure our students thrive academically and pastorally. It is clear to see that this is a school that is on a positive trajectory. While we know there is still more to do, we now have the foundations in place for a bright future for Fulwood.”
Joan Dean, Chair of Trustees, said: “We are particularly pleased with the many positive comments we received from Ofsted for our personal development provision as well as the broadening of the ‘breadth and ambition’ of our curriculum.
“The judgement mirrors the very positive comments we have had from our community, as now nearly double the amount of our parents say that their child is happy and feels safe at our school.
“These areas of focus have been such an important part of our approach to supporting our students and their families throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on looking after the well-being of each young person while encouraging them to always give their personal best, to believe in themselves and to have the highest aspirations.
“My thanks go to all of the students, parents, staff, trustees and the wider community for their ongoing support.”