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Sunderland headteacher ‘incredibly proud’ as Ofsted move school out of Special Measures

Thornhill Academy headteacher Headteacher, Sue Hamilton, is “incredibly proud” as staff have welcomed news of the school coming out of Special Measures following their latest Ofsted inspection.

By Neil Fatkin
Monday, 9th May 2022, 4:55 am

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The school was placed in Special Measures in 2017 after being judged inadequate by Ofsted inspectors. Schools placed in this category are given an action plan to address weaknesses with inspectors then carrying out a rigorous series of follow-up inspections.

Thornhill has now moved into the requires improvement category but the move is a significant step in a long journey of improvement.

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Lead inspector Carl Sugden stated: “Thornhill Academy is an improving school. The leadership of the school, and many of the teachers, have changed a lot over the past year. This has brought about improvements which leaders are seeking to embed.

"The quality of education is improving because teachers have higher expectations of what pupils can achieve. Leaders have begun to put in place a more ambitious curriculum. The curriculum structure has improved, to make work more demanding.”

Headteacher Sue Hamilton said: “I’m confident of the changes we have implemented and those that are still to come. This report highlights the excellent developments we’ve put in place and solidifies the fact our improvements are right not only for our students and staff, but also our wider community.

“I’m incredibly proud of the successes we have achieved far, but we must continue to focus on driving our improvement plans forward to ensure that all our areas for development are tackled and closely monitored.

Following its latest Ofsted inspection, Thornhill Academy has been moved out of Special Measures after seeing its judgement moved to requires improvement after previously being judged as inadequate. Picture: Google Maps.

“I want to thank our school community and wider trust team for their ongoing support and dedication to ensure we continue to improve every aspect of education at Thornhill, providing all of our students with the very best.”

After being placed in Special Measures, the school joined Consilium Academies in 2018.

Chief Executive David Clayton added: ““It’s fantastic to see Ofsted has recognised the positive changes that have been made at Thornhill since joining Consilium, as we all strive to ensure that our children can achieve anything they choose.”

To move towards being judged as good, staff at the school need to show greater consistency in the application of their behaviour policy, develop pupils’s skills of debate and discussion, and apply greater consistency in the use of assessment to identify gaps in students’ knowledge.