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'Positive climate' praised in first Ofsted report

Published on 24/04/18

The Hewett Academy has been praised for its "positive climate for learning" in its first Ofsted report.

School inspectors visited in March for the first full inspection since the school became an academy in September 2015.

Following the two-day visit they ranked the academy Good overall, and Good in every area of continuing provision.

The inspectors praised the progress being made by pupils across a range of subjects, especially the core subjects of English and maths, praising the "culture of high expectations and aspirations". 

They found that teachers create a "positive climate for learning" and that "pupils readily respond to teachers' questions and directions" - approaches reflected in last summer's GCSE results, which saw students achieving the school's best results for more than 10 years.

The inspectors praised the friendly atmosphere and wide range of social, cultural, and sporting experiences, saying that "pupils say they feel safe and well cared for" and that "pupils are respectful to one another and to adults". They recognised the substantial improvement in behaviour and the reductions in pupil absence achieved over recent years.

Ofsted's report also said the school had benefited from being part of the Inspiration Trust, saying: "The Trust has been very effective in securing improvements in the school. The support from an executive principal from within the trust and the appointment of the new principal have added impetus to the rate of change in the school."

During the inspection families were encouraged to use Ofsted's online Parent View survey, with 97% saying their child is happy at the school, and 94% saying pupils are well behaved. Around 9 out of 10 parents said they would recommend the academy to other parents.

The Hewett Academy principal Rebecca Handley Kirk said: "Overall this is a report that I am incredibly proud of, and all our students should be too. 

"To achieve a Good rating in our first inspection as an academy is a real achievement, and reflects the fantastic community spirit at the school and all hard work of our students, families, staff, and the wider school community. 

"The inspectors made some suggestions about improving our sixth form. We recognised the need to change some months ago, which is why we are introducing a radical new approach with our BTEC Plus courses from September 2018."