Thursday 5 May 2016

Re: Ofsted Inspection 

You will be aware that Abbey College was visited by Ofsted inspectors at the end of February, and again just before the Easter break. The report has been published today.

Inspectors found that a number of changes have raised expectations and led to improvements across the school. In particular, the report highlighted that teachers and senior leaders have ‘prioritised the right areas for improvement’, and that improvements in the quality of teaching ‘have been successful’.

The inspectors also commented that the achievement of pupils ‘indicates that the actions taken by senior leaders to improve pupils’ outcomes are having a positive impact.’ This was demonstrated by the number of pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate in 2015 being ‘well above the national average’. The report added that the good relationships between pupils and teachers ensured ‘that time is well used and teaching is well paced’. The college’s sixth form was also praised with inspectors noting that ‘all aspects of the sixth form have improved since the last inspection’.

The school was judged to be ‘Good’ in four out of the five inspected areas including: effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; outcomes for pupils; and 16-19 study programmes. This is a significant improvement on our previous report.

The personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils category was judged to Require Improvement. Inspectors noted that a small minority of pupils are not complying with our new behaviour code. We are aware that this relates to a group of pupils in the younger years and we have already taken steps to improve the communication of our expectations, particularly during our primary transition programme.

Due to the new Ofsted grading framework schools cannot be judged as Good overall if one area is regarded as Requiring Improvement. Therefore, we have been classified as Requiring Improvement.

However, we are very pleased to see that the steps we have taken have had a positive impact on standards of teaching, learning and achievement. We can now be confident that all pupils receive a high quality education and have the best opportunities to achieve their very highest possible results at Abbey College. With these improvements and your continued support I am confident that the school is on the right tracks and will achieve the ‘Good’ overall rating it deserves very shortly.

Of course, work remains to be done to deliver our 2020 vision – where every pupil has a clear understanding of how their learning will support their career ambitions and pathway – and we will continue to work until all areas of the school are judged as Good or Outstanding.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing, and often unsung, support that has helped bring about these improvements in just 18 months since I was appointed as Headteacher.

The full report can now be found on our website.

Mr. Andy Christoforou