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Delight as Walsall school taken out of special measures

By Heather Large | Bloxwich | Ofsted reports | Published:

Staff and pupils at a once-struggling Walsall school are celebrating a turnaround in its fortunes after it was taken out of special measures by Ofsted.

Headteacher Andy Seager, primary head Jo Gray and pupils show their joy at the progress made by Bloxwich Academy

Inspectors have praised the rapid progress being made at Bloxwich Academy since it was ordered to improve in 2013.

The school was previous known as The Mirus Academy but took on its new name after being taken over by Matrix Academy Trust in April 2015.

Since then staff have been working hard to raise standards at the all-through school, which offers education from nursery to sixth form and has 1,100 pupils.

Read the full Ofsted report on Bloxwich Academy here

During the recent Ofsted visit, inspectors noted positive changes in both teaching and pupil behaviour. The school is now rated as 'requires improvement' with some 'good' aspects.

Last year the school was also named the most improved in the country for pupil progress in Key Stage 4.

But headteacher Andy Seager says the team of 140 staff are not resting on their laurels and are continuing to drive forward further improvements.

"I'm delighted with the transformation that has occurred at Bloxwich Academy and would like to thank all parents, pupils and staff in particular for their support.

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"We will not rest until we reach our aim of being the outstanding education provider all of the pupils here deserve and the hard work continues in 2018 to ensure that every pupil in the academy exceeds their potential," he added.

Jo Gray, headteacher of the primary school, said: "We are very pleased with the progress the academy has made given the difficulties it has had in the past.

"We've now got a very good team of staff and we are really moving forwards. All of the pupils now have pride in both their appearance and their school."

During their visit the Ofsted inspectors noted the 'warm' and 'highly positive relationships' between staff and pupils, with pupils’ conduct being 'calm and orderly'.

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Sixth form students were praised for being 'positive role models for other pupils' and were said to have a 'wide range of academic and applied general qualifications courses' available to them.

The inspection team reported that pupils felt 'secure and safe' with parents agreeing that their children were well cared for while at school.

The efforts of the staff to raise standards was noted by inspectors who said teaching had improved since the last inspection with pupils 'keen to participate and contribute to lessons'.

Dame Maureen Brennan, chief executive of Matrix Academy Trust, said: "Bloxwich Academy has been transformed. Pupil behaviour is now good. The inspectors saw pupils who were tolerant of each other, respectful to visitors, polite, calm, hardworking and proud of their school.

"This is Bloxwich Academy and the change is due to the quality leadership and staff, supportive parents and governors and hardworking young people.

"Matrix Academy Trust is delighted with the progress the school has made as the most improved school in England."

Head girl Kayleigh Froggatt, who is in Year 11, said lessons had changed for the better.

"In lessons, pupils are more focussed and want to work hard and do well. As soon as a lesson begins, pupils are settled and ready to work," she added.

*Anyone wishing to visit the school can arrange an appointment by email pdugmore@bloxwichacademy.co.uk or calling 01922 710257.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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