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Oxford Academy turns round performance, say inspectors
OXFORD Academy has been told it is taking steps that could eventually lead to it coming out of special measures.
The school in Sandy Lane West was visited by inspectors for a monitoring visit in the second week of the new school year in September – and was told “reasonable progress” was being made.
Ofsted warned there was still work to do, but said there had been a rise in overall performance.
It was the third monitoring visit since the school, which has about 950 pupils, went into special measures in January after a highly critical inspection in November 2012.
The latest report has pointed to a “substantial” improvement in GCSE results this summer, which inspectors put down to personalised support for under-achieving students. The school went from 26 per cent achieving five A* to Cs including English and maths to 42 per cent.
Improvements in behaviour and teaching have been praised and the new sponsors executive group created to replace the governing body – which had been criticised by Ofsted in previous visits – has been described as giving clear and decisive action.
Inspector Mary Massey said: “A more structured and personalised programme of training for teachers, higher expectations of middle leaders and some new appointments are all contributing to improvements in teaching.
“Teachers are ambitious to improve and are increasingly receiving the support they need.”
But there were areas that were criticised, with subjects outside English and maths not showing significant improvement. The school was also told more needed to be done to improve results for both white boys and the most able pupils, as well as in year seven writing.
Headteacher David Brown said: “We are very pleased with the comments about improvements in the quality of teaching, and the overall increase in performance as seen in lessons.”
Mr Brown said it had been essential for English and maths, which he described as building blocks for achievement in other subjects, to be a priority for the first phase of the improvement plan.
He said there had been improvements in other subjects including history and geography, but they had not been as significant as in English and maths.
He added: “We need to focus on breadth across a rich and varied curriculum and that is our intention now in the second phase of improvement.”
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