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GOOD LEADERSHIP BUT WILLIAM DE YAXLEY REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT

Leadership and management at William de Yaxley CofE Academy are good, but the school requires improvement, say Government inspectors.

The team from OfSTED – the Office for Standards in Education – also praised the role of governors and the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT), which runs the school near Peterborough.

They said governors and leaders shared a collective passion to raise standards and ensured pupils achieved all they can.

“This is an improving school. Parents, pupils and governors articulate clearly the positive changes that have been brought about by the current leadership team.

“Both the executive headteacher and the head of school have the unwavering support of staff, who willingly share their vision and relentless push for improvement,” said the inspectors’ report.

They said that support from DEMAT was timely and had developed middle leaders’ skills and confidence.

“Staff speak highly of leaders, including the wider trust, and are proud to work at the school. They form a strong team who are dedicated to continuous improvement,” the report added.

Inspectors said governors were knowledgeable about the school and knew its strengths and weaknesses.

“The governing body has considerably developed its strategic role since the school became an academy. It takes an active role in planning and monitoring the effectiveness of the school and accurately identifies the next steps to secure improvement. Governors challenge and hold leaders to account for pupils’ performance.”

Although teaching overall was rated as requiring improvement, OfSTED said senior leaders had successfully tackled inadequate teaching and were precise in their target-setting and monitoring of teaching across the school.

They also praised the work of teaching assistants, adding that they effectively supported pupils’ learning and progress.

Pupil behaviour was described as good. Inspectors said that a shared ambition and vision for the school meant that significant improvements had been made to pupils’ attitudes and behaviour.

“The school environment is orderly and purposeful. All staff set high expectations for behaviour. Pupils behave well in lessons and when playing and moving around the school,” said inspectors.

They also praised the school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare. “Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is expertly promoted. There are some exemplary aspects to the promotion of equality, diversity and opportunity, which result in a positive school culture.”

Although the school was overall judged to require improvement, its predecessor school – William de Yaxley CofE Junior – was rated inadequate.

The present school was encouraged to improve outcomes and improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

Executive headteacher Kay Corley said: “We are pleased that all of our hard work over the past three and a half years has been recognised – the legacy of being an inadequate school is now solidly in the past. It has been vital to have the whole team on board, including parents and Governors in supporting the school on its journey of improvement.

“Most importantly, it is rewarding to see how positively our children feature in this report, with references being made to exemplary aspects of behaviour and a culture of mutual respect between our children, as well as their improving progress and outcomes. We are proud of all they have achieved.”

DEMAT Chief Executive Andrew Read added: “When the predecessor school joined the trust it had been graded as inadequate overall and requiring special measures, and I am delighted that inspectors have recognised the huge progress made to the present school since it joined DEMAT. In particular inspectors graded leadership and management as ‘good’ which is witness to the enormous effort made by those who have lead these improvements. I have every confidence that given this trajectory of improvement the school will be graded good overall in the near future.”