A News story by Ellena Schuster-Farrell 25 June 2019

We are pleased to announce that Denham Green E-ACT Academy has retained its Ofsted good rating. In their report, inspectors have recommended a full section 5 inspection in the near future, indicating that the academy is improving towards being outstanding.

Improving towards being outstanding

In its first short inspection since the academy was judged to be good in May 2015, Ofsted inspectors note that Denham Green’s leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the academy since the last inspection.

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

Headteacher Sarah Flannigan, her leadership team and trust staff are praised for addressing the priorities for improvement that were identified at the previous inspection, with inspectors observing that the academy “has securely strengthened its position.”

Ofsted on pupil progress at Denham Green

In their report, inspectors applaud the “very strong progress” that pupils make across a number of areas.

In particular, they praise the excellent work around supporting pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, noting that leaders “have implemented many helpful strategies to support pupils.” As a result, the inspectors point out that “in 2018, disadvantaged pupils reached standards close to or better than other pupils with similar starting points at the end of both key stage 1 and key stage 2.” Inspectors note that “provision for disadvantaged pupils is a strength of the school.”

Inspectors also praise the very good progress made by both early years pupils and the most-able pupils across the academy. Thanks to strong leadership of the provision for pupils with SEND and an accurate understanding of pupils’ needs, inspectors note that “pupils with SEND make strong progress towards their individual targets.”

High standards of teaching and learning

Inspectors are impressed by the standard of teaching and learning at the academy, and the way in which this is monitored closely by leadership. They praise the effective checking systems which allow leaders to maintain an “accurate view of the high standards of teaching and the school.”

The academy’s “very effective actions to refine the curriculum” and teachers’ strong subject knowledge has ensured that pupils are set a wide range of interesting and challenging learning activities. According to inspectors, this helps them to develop subject-specific knowledge and skills, and make useful connections between topics.

“A purposeful and happy environment for learning.”

The inspectors praise the fact that the academy focuses on helping pupils to maintain their personal and social welfare, detailing the mindfulness activities that have been built into the curriculum. Inspectors note that this emphasis on mental health and wellbeing is very effective, and contributes to pupils’ happiness at the academy. They point out that pupils “thrive in the positive, caring school environment.”

Working closely with trust leaders

The academy’s close work with trustees and trust leaders is also highlighted as a strength, with inspectors noting that trustees hold academy leaders to account “very effectively through the trust’s scheme of delegation.”

Inspectors also note that there are regular visits from trust leaders, applauding their collaborative work with academy leaders and parent advisers. According to inspectors, this has helped the academy to successfully tackle all recommendations made at its previous inspection.

Much to look forward to

The bar for a good rating is set high, and the Ofsted framework is extremely rigorous. In the case of Denham Green E-ACT Academy, retaining this good rating is due to years of hard work and determination from an exceptional regional team and headteacher in Sarah Flannigan.

“I am extremely proud of our pupils and staff, and delighted that their efforts have been recognised. The support that we have received from E-ACT has given us the opportunity to prove to inspectors that we are quickly moving towards becoming an outstanding academy. We look forward to this challenge and to raising standards even further for our pupils.”Sarah Flannigan, Headteacher, Denham Green E-ACT Academy

Denham Green 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, pupils and parents for their continuing hard work.

“I am delighted with Denham Green’s latest Ofsted report. The positive points highlighted by inspectors are a testament to the efforts of our academy and trust staff, pupils and parents. We’re proud that three quarters of our academies are now rated good or better, and we’re working hard to ensure that all of our children have access to the best possible education.”Jane Millward, Chief Executive, E-ACT

For the full report, click here.