Inspectors demand improvements at academy in critical Ofsted report

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A Wearside academy has been told it must do better when it comes to the progress of pupils.

Following a recent visit to Biddick Academy in Washington, Ofsted inspectors rated the school as requiring improvement.

Leaders have created a positive climate for improvement

Ofsted

Despite saying the leadership, quality of teaching and personal development of pupils are all good, the inspectors said the outcomes for students are not good enough.

But Ofsted inspectors acknowledged these are being addressed.

In their report, inspectors said: “Pupils’ progress in lessons and across subjects has been too variable. Pupils have made no better than average progress in English and mathematics and significantly less progress in science, modern foreign languages and humanities.

“Pupils currently in the school have begun to make better progress, but some inconsistencies remain.

“The attainment of disadvantaged pupils is currently still well below that of other pupils in the school.”

Inspectors said although improving, there are still some weaknesses in the quality of teaching and disadvantaged students are still missing school too often.

They said until recently weak accountability systems allowed underperformance to go unchecked, however, new management arrangements has begun to address this issue.

During the inspection, which was the first since Biddick became an academy, Ofsted bosses found the school had a lot of strengths.

They said: “Leaders and managers have an accurate understanding of what needs to change. They have well-developed plans in place that are bringing about the necessary improvements.

“Leaders have created a positive climate for improvement. Members of staff are on board and working hard to deliver better rates of pupil progress across the curriculum.

“Good training and professional development is rapidly addressing inconsistencies in the quality of teaching. Teaching is now good.”

The inspectors said the students are safe in school, behave well and develop as well-rounded young people.

Almost all go on to secure places in further education, employment or training.
To continuing improving the school needs to raise the progress pupils make across the curriculum at key stages 3 and 4 and raise levels of attainment. Staff also need to further improve attendance rates.