Struggling Sunderland academy turns round fortunes, say inspectors

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EDUCATION bosses have praised a city academy which has turned around its fortunes.

Hasting Hill Academy has been rated as good in all areas during a recent visit by Ofsted inspectors.

Just three years ago the Tilbury Road school was placed in special measures, but is now good in every aspect.

The former Hastings Hill Primary School was officially opened as Hastings Hill Academy by former Sunderland skipper Kevin Ball last year.

In a bid to improve the school, Hastings Hill became part of the We Inspire Success and Excellence, Academies Trust (Wise), which also includes Bexhill Academy and Town End Academy, and the move has proved successful.

Following the recent visit, inspectors said: “There have been many substantial improvements.

“Rates of progress have speeded up in all year groups so pupils are achieving well. Attendance has improved to above average and persistent absence is low.

“Pupils are very positive about their school. They recognise that it has improved substantially since it became an academy. They say that they enjoy lessons and make good progress.”

The inspectors said the behaviour of pupils both in lessons and around the school is good and the youngsters feel safe in the academy and know there is always a caring adult on hand if they need help or advice.

The report said: “The headteacher, staff, governors and the WISE Trust work very effectively together to ensure that the quality of teaching, pupils’ achievement and the overall effectiveness of the academy continue to improve and that it meets challenging targets.

“The headteacher has a very clear vision for the academy and seeks to provide an outstanding quality of education which enables pupils to reach high academic standards.

“Inspection evidence confirms that the academy is well on the way towards meeting its targets, although there is still some way to go. Most members of staff say that they are proud to be associated with the academy. Morale is generally very good.”

They said to continue improving the school needs to enable pupils currently in Years 3 and 4 to match the good progress being made over time by pupils in other year groups by providing them with consistently good or better teaching.

And, the school needs to raise the quality of teaching to consistently good or better.