Spalding’s Sir John Gleed School has turned a corner on its road to recovery following the axing of its entire governing body.
Gleed is subject to regular monitoring visits after being designated inadequate with serious weaknesses during a full Ofsted inspection last March.
Governors were axed in November and replaced by a Rapid Improvement Board when a monitoring report published following Ofsted’s visit in October said: “The leaders, the governing body and the CfBT Schools Trust have not made sure that the academy is well placed to be removed from serious weaknesses.”
But a report from a December monitoring inspection published on Monday says: “Leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of the serious weaknesses designation.”
Ofsted now says the academy’s improvement planning and the CfBT Schools Trust statement of action are “fit for purpose”, having criticised these in the previous report.
It says the pace of improvement has accelerated and highlights changes in management and leadership, including the installation of the Rapid Improvement Board chaired by the education director of the CfBT Schools Trust and deputy headteachers line managing English and maths departments.
Having previously criticised CfBT, the report says the trust is “now providing extensive support to the academy” and this “must not be withdrawn too soon as it is needed and has been in place for too short a time for it to have the impact that is required”.
Gleed headteacher Will Scott said: “We are delighted that HMI saw the rapid progress that has taken place. This is recognition for the continued hard work that the staff and the students have been putting in.
“There is still a way to go, but we remain determined that each student will get the challenge they need in every lesson to achieve the best they possibly can.”
Not complacent about progress
CfBT Schools Trust chief executive Chris Tweedale described the outcome of Ofsted’s latest inspection at Gleed as “another significant milestone on the school’s improvement journey”.
Mr Tweedale said the inspection report offered welcome recognition “for the huge amount of hard work and commitment that has gone into securing these improvements”.
He continued: “We were confident inspectors would see the impact of measures we put in place following the last, disappointing visit and we are delighted this has translated into a better judgement for the school this time around.
“None of us are complacent, however, and high levels of support will remain in place to ensure all students continue to make good progress.
“This includes specific interventions for under achieving students, and the continued help of two of the trust’s lead practitioners in English and maths.
“The new Rapid Improvement Board will be monitoring progress very closely, and holding school leaders to account to ensure improvements are sustained.”