A News story by Ellena Schuster-Farrell 23 April 2018

We are delighted to announce that North Birmingham Academy has been judged good following an Ofsted inspection in March.

The academy has undergone an impressive transformation since their last full inspection in February 2016, moving from an Ofsted rating of requires improvement to good.

This achievement is all the more impressive given the fact that 62% of the academy’s students are categorised as disadvantaged, and that 30% of the academy’s students speak English as an additional language.

Rated good overall

Inspected over 6 March 2018 and 7 March 2018, NBA has been rated good overall and in each of the five key areas assessed at inspection.

Ofsted inspectors highlight the academy’s strong leadership and improved quality of teaching. They note that students, including disadvantaged and SEND students, make good progress across a wide range of subjects and that they “are proud of their school and display attitudes that demonstrate values of inclusion and fairness.”

Effectiveness of leadership and management

NBA has been rated good for the effectiveness of its leadership and management.

Academy and trust leaders are praised for having “a crystal-clear knowledge and understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school”. Through tackling these weaknesses, inspectors note that the quality of teaching and pupil achievement and behaviour have improved.

Headteacher Philip Lloyd notes that these improvements are down to huge efforts right across the academy.

“The team have done exceptionally well, there’s not one person in the building who hasn’t contributed to this transformation. Day-to-day, we support, challenge and help one another to ensure extraordinary opportunities for our students.”

Inspectors praise academy leaders for adapting the curriculum to ensure that it provides opportunities for every pupil to be able to achieve. Leaders have high expectations of students, and are praised for frequently checking and evaluating the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

E-ACT’s governance arrangements are also praised in the report, with inspectors noting that the raising achievement board “rigorously and regularly evaluate the school’s performance in order to set priorities for improvement.”

Quality of teaching, learning and assessment

According to inspectors, “a positive climate for learning permeates the academy.” Teachers are praised for knowing their students well, stretching and challenging more able students and supporting less able students. They’re also commended for demonstrating secure subject knowledge and enthusing and engaging their students.

Lessons are described as “extremely well planned” and consistent, with staff in all subject areas using assessment clearly to advise pupils on how to improve their work.

As a result, NBA has also been rated good for its quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

Personal development, behaviour and welfare

Personal development, behaviour and welfare is another area that has received a good rating.

Students are described as “confident and ambitious”, aware of the importance of their education for their futures. The feedback received by inspectors showed that pupils value their education and the standard of teaching at NBA.

Students have access to a number of leadership development opportunities, and student leaders, prefects and mentors inspire and support their classmates.  The report also notes that “pupils’ social, emotional and mental wellbeing is a priority”, praising the fact that students are equipped with the skills and resources they need to overcome mental health issues and thrive.

Inspectors also point out that “trusting relationships exist between adults and pupils”, with students feeling safe and parents feeling that the academy offers a secure environment for their children.

16 to 19 study programmes

Ofsted inspectors have rated NBA’s 16-19 offering as good, describing its sixth form students as “articulate, reflective and ambitious”. Inspectors note that last year the majority of students went on to higher education, employment or training. There has also been an increase in the number of students applying for Russell Group universities.

The sixth form fosters a sense of independence, and relationships between staff and students are positive. Inspectors praise the wide range of opportunities available to sixth formers to develop their leadership skills.

Outcomes for pupils

For outcomes for pupils, NBA has also been rated good.

Since the last inspection, pupils’ attainment and progress has increased, and most pupils in Year 7 to 11 are making good progress across a number of subjects. However, as the report points out, academy leaders are keen to continue to improve pupil performance across the board.

Due to improved teaching, higher expectations of pupils and targeted intervention for pupils that are falling behind, inspectors note improvements in the progress of disadvantaged, middle ability and SEND pupils.

“It’s an exciting time at NBA: we’re part of the way on a journey to where we want to be.”Philip Lloyd, Headteacher

We’re delighted that North Birmingham Academy is now among 17 E-ACT academies rated at least good by Ofsted; that’s over two-thirds of our academies.

NBA is in an excellent position to build on the many strengths highlighted by the Ofsted inspectors. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all academy and trust staff, students and parents for their continuing hard work.

You can read the full Ofsted inspection report here.