Positive news from Ofsted for Joseph Swan Academy

Dear Parent/Carer

Positive news from Ofsted for Joseph Swan Academy

Joseph Swan Academy had an Ofsted Section 8 monitoring visit on Friday 30th November 2018. As with all Section 8 Inspections key judgements are made. These judgements focus on the following questions;

a) Are Leaders and Managers taking effective action?
b) Is the Academy’s action plan fit for purpose?
c) Is the Joseph Swan Academy Trust’s Statement of Action fit for purpose?

I am very pleased to report to all our Parents/Carers and students that in this Inspection the results to the three key judgements were all positive with the answer to each question, I am proud to say, being ‘Yes’.

I believe that this absolutely shows the determination, drive and vigour the Academy Staff and Governors have had since the April Inspection (which was published in July 2018). We approached the actions we needed to take with honesty, transparency and focus with absolutely no room for complacency.

During this Inspection, meetings were held with myself, members of the senior team, the Governing Body, staff and students. The Academy’s website was reviewed as well as a wide range of documentation including students’ work. Some lessons were also visited. The Academy’s Post Ofsted Action Plan was also reviewed and evaluated rigorously.

Within the Inspection the Quality of Leadership and Management was deemed to be improving. This focused on the changes to the Governing Body since the last Inspection. This included the personnel and the knowledge, skills and understanding of the Governors. The Inspection recognised that astute appointments had been made to the Governing Body and external expertise and advice was sought to ensure Governors had a stronger understanding of their role. There is still work to do but a full and far reaching training programme is in place to ensure this area of Academy life fully meets all expectations.

The Post Ofsted Action Plan was deemed as being ‘thorough’. The Inspection findings state that ‘improvement plans and proposed actions are relevant, clear and specific’. ‘Timings are appropriate and it is clear by whom, when and how progress will be monitored’. The Inspection Report Letter states that ‘staff say that Leaders hold them to account more stringently than they did previously. This is because the Head Teacher has amended, clarified job descriptions and responsibilities of senior leaders’. The Inspection also recognised that new appointments made by the Head Teacher enabled her to restructure the senior leadership team.

In regard to Teaching, Learning and Assessment ‘strategies to improve this area are beginning to pay dividends. ‘Leaders’ actions were viewed positively regarding schemes of work, review and evaluation and checks to improve the accuracy of teachers’ assessment. Work in Mathematics is ongoing and will remain a priority for the Academy. This includes an appointment of a Lead Practitioner and an additional member of the Mathematics Team. These posts will start in January.

The Inspection Report Letter comments positively on how the Academy is using additional funding to support disadvantaged students. It states that ‘Leaders acted swiftly to improve this aspect of the Academy’s work’. Regular training of staff helps support the substantial number of disadvantaged students within the Academy. Disadvantaged students are now making more progress than before the previous Inspection.

The Academy places high importance on good attendance. When students are absent from the Academy they miss out on learning. The focus of this Inspection was to look at the attendance of disadvantaged students. This has been a priority since the last Inspection. Inspection findings show that attendance has improved for some disadvantaged students but we still have work to do in this area. We will therefore continue to focus on this.

Behaviour was highlighted as a strength in the last Inspection and this Inspection Report Letter states that ‘Leaders have acted to reinforce their expectations in this regard’. The Inspection findings state that Fixed Term and Permanent Exclusions are used appropriately at Joseph Swan Academy.

Overall this is a positive report from Ofsted with the following judgements being made;

a) Leaders and Managers are taking effective action
b) The Academy’s action plan is fit for purpose
c) The Joseph Swan Academy Trust’s statement of action is fit for purpose

Can I take this opportunity to thank Parents/Carers for your support especially over the last few months. There is no doubt that this Inspection recognised the ethos of Joseph Swan Academy and showed an understanding of the hard work, motivation and commitment made by the Governing Body, staff and students since the last inspection. The judgements show that Joseph Swan Academy is moving in the right direction. For me that is a very positive message to give to all of our Parents/ Carers, students, staff and Governors. There is no complacency, there is still work to do, but we know what we are doing and are moving in the right direction.

In addition our potential links with Emmanuel Schools Foundation will build on these firm foundations we have created over the past few months.

We will continue to approach all challenges with fortitude, honesty, energy and commitment now and in the future.

I finish as I started. ‘Positive news from Ofsted for Joseph Swan Academy’. Now that is a great Christmas present to us all.

Yours faithfully

Miss H E Scott
Head Teacher