Ilkeston school making progress, says Ofsted


A Kirk Hallam school is taking the steps needed in order to become a ‘good’ school, according to Ofsted inspectors.

Ofsted inspector Deborah Mosley visited Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy to carry out a monitoring inspection, the first since the academy was judged to ‘require improvement’ following an inspection in March this year.

In her report, Ms Mosley said the academy had maintained the strengths which were highlighted in the last report, particularly with regard to the promotion of pupils’ well-being and ‘their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development’.

The inspector said there was a ‘culture of care’ at the academy, where everyone was valued.

She added that pupils enjoyed being at school and were keen to meet teachers’ expectations of good behaviour and demonstration of positive values. Ms Mosley said: “Pupils enjoy being at school and recognise that their teachers want them to do well. They appreciate the opportunities that the school provides.”

Joan McCarthy, head teacher at the Abbot Road school, said: “We are extremely pleased with the report and that our efforts since the first inspection have been recognised. We know that there is still more work to do but we are confident that everything is in place to enable us to become a ‘good’ school and that this will be the first step on our journey to being rated as ‘outstanding’.

“I would like to thank our hard-working and dedicated staff and our students’ parents and carers for their support. I am extremely proud of our school community and it is vital that we all work together as we all want the best for the people who matter the most, our students.”

Inspectors also recognised the ‘considerable work’ that has been done to improve mathematics, which resulted in significantly improved progress in 2017 – exceeding the national average. She also acknowledged that plans were in place to apply appropriate support and challenge in English.

The inspector also said that action had been taken to improve science and boys’ engagement, and that the academy had identified the need to ensure that the most able pupils were provided with a sufficient challenge.

Ms Mosley said: “Senior leaders, governors and the trust are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified at the last inspection in order to become a good school.”