A News story by Humayon Pramanik 25 July 2019

We are delighted to announce that Hareclive E-ACT Academy has been rated outstanding in its first Ofsted inspection since joining the trust in September 2016. In less than three years, the academy has progressed from Ofsted’s lowest ranking to its highest and becomes the third E-ACT academy to receive the outstanding rating. Over two thirds of our academies are now rated good or better by Ofsted.  

Outstanding in every category

The academy has been rated outstanding in every category, a rare accolade under the current inspection framework. The bar for an outstanding rating is set particularly high, but for the staff and pupils of Hareclive it comes after years of hard work and determination by an exceptional regional and academy team. #

Over 30% of Hartcliffe children live in poverty

This spectacular achievement is all the more impressive given the academy’s diverse pupil body. The proportion of Hareclive pupils supported by the pupil premium funding is 66% which is three times higher than the national average. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs or disabilities is 27% which is also three times higher than the national average. The academy is located in Hartcliffe, Bristol, where sadly over 30% of children live in poverty. 

Outlined below are the main highlights from a report packed full of praise for the academy. The full report will be live on the Ofsted website soon. 

A brilliant headteacher in Kate Richardson

Inspectors have praised headteacher Kate Richardson, who having been appointed in September 2017, is described as ‘steadfast in her determination to secure a safe environment conducive to learning.’ 

Inspectors note that Kate has worked ‘relentlessly’ to ensure that parents and carers value the education of their children. She is also described as ‘unwavering’ in her high expectations. 

The role of the trust

Inspectors note that since joining E-ACT in 2016, Hareclive pupils’ progress has ‘improved significantly’. The trust’s ‘high-quality professional training’ is singled out for praise as are the leadership opportunities available, which according to inspectors, ‘adds to the capacity for improvement’ in the academy. 

Inspectors note that without the support of the trust, the academy would not have the resources for individual support that have made the experiences of pupils, staff and community so exceptional. 

Rapid progress from day one in every phase and year group

Inspectors note that teachers receive ‘expert professional development’ to make sure children make ‘rapid progress’ from the start of the year. Furthermore, as most children enter the academy with very weak communication skills, highly intensive speech and language therapy means that they learn to communicate effectively during the Reception year. 

Inspectors also note that Hareclive pupils make outstanding progress in every phase and year group even though most children enter the academy at least two years behind other children nationally. Pupils are therefore achieving significantly better outcomes than other pupils nationally considering their very low starting points. 

Innovative teaching and learning

Teaching is described by inspectors as ‘consistently impressive’ and ‘innovative’, leading to ‘sustained and substantial progress’ by pupils. Hareclive teachers have very high expectations of pupils, which is why according to inspectors, pupils progress so well. 

Inspectors note that pupils gain ‘an excellent ability to master the basic skills and understand world heritage and its cultures. 

Very strong progress made by disadvantaged pupils

Disadvantaged pupils are noted as making very strong progress from Reception onwards. This is because teachers understand their needs and meet them ‘exceptionally well’ so they never fall behind others in academy and nationally. 

Pupil premium funding is spent wisely according to inspectors so disadvantaged pupils are making the same progress as other pupils nationally in the end of key stage 2 tests. 

Very strong progress by students with complex special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)

According to inspectors, pupils with highly complex special educational needs and/or disabilities make very strong progress from their starting points because the ‘highly skilled adults’ who work with them ‘understand their needs and plan for them’. Inspectors note that Hareclive’s dedicated SEND coordinator has ensured that teachers meet pupils’ differing needs.  

An outward-looking academy

Inspectors note that leaders have made community engagement a priority and have ‘worked tirelessly to secure parents’ trust in the school’. Hareclive’s leadership team is described as ‘outward-looking’ as they have forged many links with local schools, businesses and creative specialists. 

The academy’s Ambassadorial Advisory Group (AAG) is described as a key link between academy and parents. Inspectors note that parents value the AAG enormously and find the academy a haven for themselves, as well as their children.” 

Hareclive pupils demand more of themselves

Inspectors praise pupil behaviour at the academy in their report. In particular, inspectors applaud the new behaviour system implemented by academy leadership which has ‘transformed pupils’ attitudes’. 

Inspectors refer to ‘a motivating culture’ in the academy where every pupil ‘has an overwhelming acceptance of diversity and to which pupils ‘react with verve and vigour’. 

Headteacher Kate Richardson on the Ofsted outstanding rating:

“I am delighted that our academy has been recognised as outstanding in every category by Ofsted. In under three years, the academy has climbed from Ofsted’s lowest ranking to its highest. This fantastic achievement comes as a direct result of the dedication and hard work of our regional and academy staff and of course our pupils, who continue to inspire us through their innovation, enthusiasm and creativity both in and out of the classroom. With close support from academy parents and the wider community, we have been able to transform Hareclive E-ACT Academy into the fantastic place of learning it is today.”Kate Richardson, Headteacher

We take this opportunity to congratulate academy and regional staff as well as the wider academy community. It is thanks to them that pupils leave Hareclive fully prepared for the rigours of secondary education and life beyond.