Sunderland school celebrates good Ofsted report

St Aidan's students celebrate the good Ofsted report with headteacher Kevin Shepherd.
St Aidan's students celebrate the good Ofsted report with headteacher Kevin Shepherd.
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A school which was told it must improve by inspectors has improved its grade with a “good” rating.

St Aidan’s Catholic Academy in Ashbrooke was previously told by Ofsted that it “required improvement” in a number of areas during a check made in December 2015.

While we’re very proud of these achievements, we’re determined to press on and surpass these achievements in 2018 and beyond.

Kevin Shepherd

A monitoring visit in May 2016 said it found senior leaders and governors were taking action to tackle the areas of concern, which had included its leadership, teaching, provision for 16 to 19-year-olds and its outcome for pupils.

But now it has been hailed as good overall following from a new inspection last month, with its management, quality of teaching and learning, personal development, behaviour and welfare, outcomes for pupils and the study programmes for its older students covered by the visit.

Headteacher Kevin Shepherd said: “We are delighted that Ofsted recognise the significant efforts of staff, pupils and parents and the journey we have all taken since the previous Ofsted

inspection.

“St Aidan’s is a happy school with committed, talented staff, fantastic pupils and supportive parents and it’s therefore very pleasing that the improvements we have made, across all aspects of school, are allowing our pupils to reach their full potential which they so fully deserve.

“The efforts of the whole school community meant we celebrated outstanding GCSE results in 2017 with 76% achieving Grade 4 - old A* to C - pass rates in English and maths, which topped the Sunderland league table and significantly exceeded Sunderland’s pass rate of 57%.

“While we’re very proud of these achievements, we’re determined to press on and surpass these achievements in 2018 and beyond.”

In their report inspectors said: “This is a good school.

“Strong leadership, management and governance have successfully improved the school’s effectiveness since the last inspection.

“The enthusiasm and commitment of the headteacher and deputy headteacher are unrelenting.

“Expectations are high and the school continues to improve at a good rate.”

“Good teaching effectively promotes pupils’ interest, involvement and motivation in lessons.

“Relationships between staff and pupils are very positive.

“Pupils are confident in asking questions.

“Pupils conduct themselves very well in lessons and around the school.

“They are confident, polite and courteous to one another and to staff.

“Pupils behave well and show positive attitudes to learning.”

“Overall, the school prepares pupils well for their next steps in education, training or employment.

“In 2017, almost all of the Year 11 pupils went into employment, education or training.”