A News story by Ellena Schuster-Farrell 1 May 2018

In its first short Ofsted inspection since the academy was judged to be good in January 2015, we are delighted to announce that St Ursula’s E-ACT Academy has retained its good rating.

Improving towards being outstanding

According to Ofsted inspectors, who visited the academy on 20 March 2018, St Ursula’s leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the academy since the last inspection.

They note that the academy has “demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement in certain areas”, which could indicate that St Ursula’s is improving towards being outstanding. Inspectors have therefore recommended that the academy’s next inspection is a full section 5 inspection.

Headteacher Ross Moody, his leadership team and trust staff are praised for addressing the priorities for improvement that were identified after the previous inspection, with inspectors observing that “a number of changes and improvements are securing higher standards.”

Ofsted on pupil attainment

At the end of both Year 2 and Year 6, the number of pupils reaching the standards expected in reading, writing and mathematics is higher than the national average. Inspectors applaud recent work around problem-solving and reasoning skills in mathematics as well as “highly effective measures to raise standards” in reading. And in key stage 2, extended writing in English and other subjects is of a high standard.

Inspectors are also pleased with the improvements in the way teachers check pupils’ progress, resulting in more effective teaching and support.

Enhanced training in mental health

With regards to safeguarding, inspectors have noted that staff have secure knowledge which is regularly updated through training.

They are also impressed with the additional training available to staff, noting that “leaders enhance this training beyond statutory requirements” with staff being trained to support pupils’ mental health.

The E-ACT network

Improvements in the academy’s quality of teaching, leadership and governance are attributed to close links with other academies and the “high-quality professional development” available to staff. Inspectors point out that subject leaders, for example, have the opportunity to initiate developments across the trust, which helps to raise the standard of teaching and improve their leadership capacity.

Inspectors also praise the “strong strategic support” provided by leaders from the trust.

Much to look forward to

The bar for a good rating is set high, and as we are all aware the Ofsted framework is extremely rigorous. In the case of St Ursula’s E-ACT Academy it is a culmination of years of hard work and determination from an exceptional regional team and headteacher in Ross Moody.

“I am extremely proud that the efforts of the pupils and staff have been recognised. The support from E-ACT has given us the opportunity to prove to inspectors that we are an outstanding academy. We look forward to this challenge and to raising standards for every one of our pupils.”Ross Moody, Headteacher

St Ursula’s E-ACT Academy is clearly in an excellent position to build on the many strengths highlighted by the Ofsted inspectors. We take this opportunity to thank all academy and trust staff, students and parents for their continuing hard work.

“We’re absolutely delighted with St Ursula’s most recent Ofsted inspection. The positive comments are a testament to the efforts of the academy and trust staff, pupils and parents. We’re proud that three quarters of E-ACT pupils now go to a good or better academy, and we’re working to continue to improve our academies so that all of our children get the best possible education.”Jane Millward, Deputy Chief Executive

For the full report, click here.