Ofsted Praise Doncaster Academy Leaders for Their Ambitious Plans to Improve

++ Inspectors say Denaby Main pupils and leaders are “right to be proud” ++

++Leaders are “making a real difference” ++

Ofsted inspectors today praised a local Doncaster primary school for the “many improvements” they have made in the last year. The report highlights that pupils were “very proud” to tell inspectors about these changes.

Denaby Main Primary Academy had been recognised as being “Inadequate” before joining the Astrea Academy Trust in October 2016. At the time inspectors had voiced their concerns that pupils did not get the chance to cover everything they were supposed to be learning. Today, leaders are praised for ambitious plans to improve the curriculum and making the teaching of reading a top priority.

In their first report since Denaby Main Primary joined the Astrea family, Ofsted has judged behaviour and attitudes to be “Good”, noting that leaders have worked hard to improve pupils’ behaviour, which has been “transformed” and is helping them to learn and succeed.

Whilst the overall conclusion is that the academy “Requires Improvement”, this reflects the challenges that the school has faced in the past. In its report, Ofsted highlight that the most senior school leaders are very skilful and knowledgeable, and that they are making a real difference, including the following:

  • Everyone understands how they should behave. Pupils feels safe at school. All adults treat pupils with kindness and respect.
  • The quality of teaching is improving quickly. Pupils know what is expected of them. The teachers are working well together as a team.
  • Astrea Academy Trust is giving new leaders training to help them lead their subject areas. Leaders are looking carefully at the content in each subject.
  • All teachers have received training to improve the teaching of phonics. If pupils are struggling, teachers give pupils extra help.
  • Many parents hear their children read at home and pupils say that they are much more confident when they are reading aloud.
  • Teachers are skilful at helping pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), Ofsted notes that “this is working”.
  • The academy’s safeguarding leader is very experienced. Pupils and parents trust her.

Andrew Crossley, Executive Principal at Denaby Main Primary Academy, part of the Astrea Academy Trust, said:

“It is wonderful to hear that all the improvement my senior team and I have put in place is bearing fruit for our pupils. We have a concrete improvement plan, which will allow all our children to benefit from an education that inspires beyond measure.

“I am confident in the incredible teaching team around me at Denaby Main to make these ambitious changes. To hear that our tenacious pupils are speaking proudly of the improvements we’ve already made is what it’s all about.

“The support we have received from Astrea can also not be understated – particularly the training and support the trust has provided for our new subject leaders.”

Libby Nicholas, Chief Executive of Astrea Academy Trust said:

“We are delighted that Ofsted has recognised the significant and positive changes that have been made at Denaby Main by Andrew Crossley and his inspirational leadership team. For them to be praised by inspectors as skilful and knowledgeable is excellent. Denaby Main is in safe hands, and with our support I know it will continue to improve rapidly.

“These significant improvements mean that our promise to provide an education that inspires beyond measure is coming true for Denaby Main Primary Academy pupils. Today’s Ofsted judgement marks an important further step towards that.”