Failing Sunderland Academy is ‘still struggling,’ say inspectors

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PLANS to improve a failing Wearside school are not good enough, say education bosses.

Redby Academy was placed in special measures following an inspection by Ofsted in November.

However, a recent monitoring visit by inspectors found effective action to tackle the problems had not been taken until very recently and both the governors’ statement of action and the academy’s action plan are not fit for purpose.

However, the school says these issues have now been tackled and it is in a position to move forward.

The original Ofsted report said the Fulwell Road school was inadequate in almost all areas, including pupil achievement, quality of teaching and leadership.

Since then the headteacher has left the school, along with two other members of staff, and the chairman of governers has stepped down. Following the recent monitoring visit, inspectors said: “Effective action to tackle the issues identified in the recent inspection has only very recently taken place. The acting headteacher has been in post for only a short time and there is little evidence of sustained progress before her appointment.”

However, they added: “Since the appointment, and with the support of a range of local schools, Durham Education Development Services and the Wearmouth Learning Trust, the acting headteacher has moved promptly to begin tackling the shortcomings in teaching, assessment and the effectiveness of middle leaders.

“The monitoring of teaching is now more rigorous and the academy is using its partnerships to help ensure that judgements about the quality of teaching are accurate.”

They said the governing body had not moved quickly enough to engage with the serious shortcomings and, as a result, the academy had not made adequate progress since the inspection.

Inspectors said: “The work of the governing body has been too slow and its actions unfocused.

“The governors’ statement of action has only very recently been written and is incomplete. The academy action plan is also incomplete.”

A spokesman for the Fulwell school said: “Redby Primary Academy is working in close partnership with Monkwearmouth Academy under the umbrella of Wearmouth Learning Trust.

“The statement of action and action plan for the academy have now been re-written and we believe both are not only fit for purpose, but will drive the academy forward with some urgency to ensure Redby moves to become a ‘good’ school again in the near future.”