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‘Inadequate’ Sunderland school ordered to improve

Andrew Jordon.
Andrew Jordon.

A Sunderland school has been ordered to improve by Government inspectors.

Red House Academy was given an overall rating of ‘inadequate’ in its latest Ofsted report.

Red House Academy, Sunderland.

Red House Academy, Sunderland.

‘Effectiveness of leadership and management’ was rated ‘requires improvement’, while ‘Quality of teaching, learning and assessment’, ‘Personal development, behaviour and welfare’, and ‘Outcomes for pupils’ were all rated ‘Inadequate.’

The report says the school has had problems for a while: “Over time, school leaders and the trust have not taken action to prevent a decline in standards. Pupils’ progress was well below average in 2016 and 2017.

“Prior to this academic year, the curriculum did not meet the needs of many pupils. Too many pupils did not receive appropriate challenge or support.

”Teaching over time has failed to secure good outcomes for all pupils. Teachers and learning support assistants have not ensured that learning activities are adequately matched to the needs of pupils.

Outcomes in most subjects in 2017 were well below national averages, particularly in English, mathematics and science.

Ofsted report

“Outcomes in most subjects in 2017 were well below national averages, particularly in English, mathematics and science.

“Pupils’ behaviour, although rapidly improving since the appointment of new staff to the trust and school, is inadequate. Too many pupils misbehave, resulting in removal from lessons.”

The report does, however, note that the situation has improved in the last six months, with new trust leaders leaving ‘no stone unturned in implementing their improvement plans’: “Since the appointment of new leaders to the trust and the school in September 2017, rapid improvements are taking place to improve the life chances of all pupils who attend the school,” it says.

“Pupils say that since the beginning of this academic year, the school is improving. They are particularly pleased that behaviour is improving and they are able to learn more.

“With resolute determination, leaders are increasing the life chances of pupils at this school by overhauling systems, strengthening procedures and raising expectations of staff and pupils. Through this, pupils are beginning to realise that they can achieve.

“Pupils say that they feel safe in school and are confident that staff will help them to solve any problems. Pupils say that bullying is rare and staff deal with it quickly if it happens.”

The report says the school must:

*Improve the quality of leadership and management at all levels;

*Improve the quality of pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare;

*Rapidly improve the quality of teaching and learning, and pupils’ outcomes.

Executive Principal Andrew Jordon said: “Ofsted recognised that since the appointment of new leaders to the Trust and the academy in September 2017, rapid improvements are taking place to improve the life chances of all students.

“We are pleased that Ofsted acknowledged the positive changes that have been made in teaching and learning, as well as a number of strategies which are increasing the pace of improvement. These include overhauling the curriculum, implementing new performance tracking systems, creating an assessment calendar, developing a new tracking system for vulnerable students, implementing systems to embed higher expectations of behaviour throughout the student population and providing bespoke support for underperforming students.

“In short, the findings support the many necessary changes that have already been made and we are confident that we are well on our way to delivering rapid improvement.

“We are focused on continuing along this path to ensure that all students get the high standard of education they so rightly deserve at Red House Academy.”