Wombourne school praised for helping pupils 'flourish' after turn-around

An academy in South Staffordshire criticised for pupils not progressing enough has reversed its fortunes and now students can "flourish", an education watchdog said.

Wombourne High School. Photo: Google
Wombourne High School. Photo: Google

Wombourne High School, on Ounsdale Road in the village, was criticised by Ofsted inspectors in 2018 with disadvantaged pupils doing "less well" than other students.

The school was branded as "requires improvement" but has seen undergone a whirlwind of improvements and received an overall rating of "Good" after checks in March.

Inspectors noted "significant improvements" have been made, spearheaded by the headteacher and senior leaders, at the school – part of the Invictus Education Trust – since the previous Ofsted inspection.

In a report, they said: "They have been well supported by The Invictus Education Trust in making these improvements. Leaders are ambitious for every pupil.

"All pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), study a wide range of subjects. Leaders ensure that academic rigour sits at the heart of a broad and balanced curriculum."

Mr Tony Bowles, Invictus Education Trust chief executive officer, added: "What a time to be a part of the Wombourne High School community, we are very proud of the work that all the schools in our trust do for our students and this unprecedented year of good, no, great news at Wombourne is a reason to be cheerful.

"A brand new state of the art 3G pitch has just been opened, the news last year of the new build investment as part of the £11 billion national 'School Rebuilding Programme' and now for the first time in over a decade Ofsted recognises Wombourne is a Good school."

Incoming headteacher Claire Powell added: "I am thrilled that Ofsted recognised that Wombourne High School is a good school where pupils can flourish. Whilst we should be proud of the journey the school community has been on, I am just as excited about the journey to come as we continue to strive for excellence for every pupil in our school. We are committed to continue developing the best possible provision for our pupils and will work tirelessly to build on these successes."

The latest Ofsted report showed the school must improve pupils' literacy levels which are hindering them in accessing the curriculum fully, with a newly introduced reading scheme starting to have an impact in some subjects.

And it said the recently introduced behaviour strategy does not meet all pupils' needs and has not helped some pupils to manage their behaviour – and has resulted in a small number of pupils, particularly those with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), seeing an "increased number of suspensions".

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