Willenhall E-ACT Academy: Failing school is making progress, Ofsted says

By David Cosgrove | Willenhall | Ofsted reports | Published:

A failing school where Ofsted inspectors were pelted with food is making good progress, according to a new report by the schools watchdog.

Willenhall E-ACT Academy: Failing school is making progress, Ofsted says

Willenhall E-ACT Academy was placed into special measures earlier this year after a damning report.

But a monitoring visit by Ofsted has found academy bosses have taken steps to improve.

Interim inspections are conducted as part of standard procedure when a school or academy is placed in special measures.

Overall, Ofsted inspectors concluded the academy’s leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures, with both the trust’s and academy’s action plans described as ‘fit for purpose’ by inspectors.

Headteacher Kirsty Jones said: “I am pleased Ofsted has recognised the significant improvements we have made at Willenhall E-ACT Academy in a relatively short period of time.

“Whilst there is much more work to be done, the positive changes which have occurred following the inspection in March 2017 are testament to the efforts of both staff and students at the academy.

"This is a huge strength and will support us in the next phase of our development.


“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our teachers and leaders for their determined commitment, hard work and resilience.

"I also thank members of our wider community who continue to support the academy.

“I am most proud of our students, whose determined efforts to meet their teachers’ expectations and demonstrate that they can succeed and achieve, make me hugely positive about the future.”

Walsall North Conservative MP Eddie Hughes, said: "I am glad that following my intervention the leadership of the school has taken matters seriously and recruited an effective team to oversee improvements for students who attend the school.


"I look forward to visiting there in the future and will support the school in any way I can."

The school, which has more than 1,300 pupils, was ranked inadequate by Ofsted across the board in a damning report published in May before teachers walked out due to safety fears in June and July.

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

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

The report from May found:

  • One-third of pupils in Years 7 to 11 were persistently absent
  • Ofsted inspectors were pelted with food during their inspection visit
  • Students felt unsafe due to repeated poor behaviour
  • Seventy per cent of teachers left the school during 2015 and 2016
  • In many lessons, teachers were regularly interrupted by pupils
David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_


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