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Failing school is improving, says Ofsted

By Alex Ross | Willenhall | Education | Published:

A failing school where Ofsted inspectors were pelted with food is continuing to make good progress, the education watchdogs has said.

Willenhall E-Act Academy

Willenhall E-ACT Academy has addressed pupils' poor behaviour and is improving attendance, according the inspectors, who visited the school again in March.

Last year, the school was placed into special measures following a damning inspection report.

But a monitoring visit by Ofsted in March found improvements have been made.

The school remains in special measures, but can now employ newly-qualified teachers.

The report found a continued stability of teachers at the school had led to improvements in teaching, with a 'positive climate for learning' in an increasing number of lessons.

However, inspectors did say there was still variation in the impact of teaching, with some teachers not promptly challenging pupils whose attention has gone.

The proportion of pupils persistently absent had reduce, said the report, but remains 'too high'.

And the number of pupils removed from lessons for behaviour has dropped, according to the inspectors, who praise a rewards system in place for students.

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Inspector Rob Hackfath said: "Leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures."

The school, in Furzebank Way, which has more than 1,300 pupils, was ranked inadequate by Ofsted across the board following the inspection last May.

It found a third of pupils from Years 7 to 11 were persistently absent and students felt unsafe due to repeated poor behaviour.

Ofsted inspector were pelted with food during the inspection visit.

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The academy was previously rated as ‘requires improvement’ in 2015.

Inspectors highlighted a catalogue of issues in the report, including sub-standard teaching and poor behaviour from pupils.

Headteacher Kirsty Jones welcomed the latest inspection report, but said there was more work to be done.

She said: “We are very pleased with the most recent report from Ofsted, which recognises the progress that is being made in the academy.

“It also highlights that behaviour has improved with pupils moving calmly and sensibly around school and that they have pride in their school. The number of fixed term exclusions has dropped, as has the number of pupils who are removed from lessons for poor behaviour.

“Together with the continued stability of teachers at school, this all contributes to an improvement in the quality of lessons and learning. As a result, the progress that pupils are making is improving, and we expect to see better results this coming summer.

“There is more work to be done here at Willenhall, but Ofsted’s report marks an important step forward.”

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
Investigations Editor - @alexross_star

Investigations Editor at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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