Struggling Sunderland school takes big steps to improvement

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A troubled Sunderland school is taking further steps towards shaking off its problems.

Formerly classed as a good school with outstanding features, Redby Academy was plunged into special measures in November 2013 and faced a rocky road to recovery.

However, 18 months later the school, in Fulwell Road, was officially removed from special measures by Ofsted chiefs and placed in the ‘requires improvement’ category.

Now, after the most recent visit to the primary last month, inspectors said Redby is still turning around its fortunes. They said: “The headteacher, working in partnership with the deputy headteacher and the executive headteacher, is establishing a shared commitment to sustained improvement, and is improving the effectiveness of leadership across the school.

“Middle leaders are taking increasing responsibility for the monitoring of teaching and outcomes, and intervening swiftly when areas of under performance are identified.

“Senior and middle leaders hold regular pupil progress meetings that are increasing the accountability of teachers for pupils’ outcomes over time.”

“The impact of work to improve teaching was evident in both English and mathematics lessons, where topics such as algebra and spelling were enlivened by deep questioning, peer discussion and a healthy sense of competition.”

A number of changes happened at the school since it was placed in special measures, including the former headteacher and two members of staff leaving, the chairman of governers stepping down and Redby joining forces with Monkwearmouth Academy, under the umbrella of Wearmouth Learning Trust.

Redby Academy’s head of school, Melanie Wight, said: “Staff and pupils have been on an exciting educational journey which has been closely supported by our governors and parents.

“Our foundations for moving forward are now strong and we are confident that our journey to ‘Good’ then ‘Outstanding’ will be a short one.”