Flagship Sunderland academy is failing pupils, say inspectors

Red House Acadamy principal Dr Therese Quincey.
Red House Acadamy principal Dr Therese Quincey.
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ONE of Wearside’s flagship academies is failing to make the grade, according to education watchdogs.

Red House Academy has been issued with a notice to improve by Ofsted following a recent inspection, which rated the school as “inadequate” overall.

The multimillion pound academy, headed by Dr Therese Quincey, was opened in 2009, sponsored by the Leighton Group, Sunderland City Council and the University of Sunderland.

However, Ofsted inspectors say the Rutherglen Road school is not meeting the basic Government standards for attainment and progress.

Inspectors found the achievement of pupils and the quality of teaching to be inadequate, while the behaviour and safety of students, along with leadership and management, are satisfactory.

Their report said: “Significant improvement is required in relation to achievement and the quality of teaching. The overall effectiveness of the academy is not satisfactory because students are not making the progress they should in English and mathematics.

“Students’ inadequate progress is a result of weak teaching over time, largely due to staff absence in English, mathematics and engineering.

“Teaching is inadequate in a small number of lessons and the remainder is mostly satisfactory.

“This is not good enough to interest, challenge and motivate students all of the time. The academy recognises there is some way to go before teaching is consistently good or outstanding.”

The inspectors said students show a positive attitude to their learning when the teaching is good, they work well with each other and relationships with staff are strong.

However, they said: “Behaviour quickly declines in a small number of lessons when the teaching is poor, consequently students become boisterous and show a lack of respect for staff.”

They said changes made by senior leaders and the governing body are making an impact and the legacy of significant underachievement is being tackled.

They said effective action has already been taken resulting in significant improvement in attendance, persistent absence, exclusions, and increasing the number of students gaining 5 GCSE passes at grades A*-C to 85 per cent in 2011.

The report said: “The governing body and senior leaders recognise improving achievement, attainment and the quality of teaching is now the top priority.”

To improve the school needs to raise attainment and achievement to meet or exceed the basic targets, ensure all teaching is good or better and increase the pace of the drive to improve the overall effectiveness of the academy.

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