Special measures tag shrugged off

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Improvements made at Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy have been described as ‘impressive’ by Ofsted inspectors.

The academy was formed in September 2013 by the merger of Ormiston Enterprise Academy and Ormiston Ilkeston Academy, both of which were in special measures.

The merged academy is regarded by Ofsted as a new school and so was not in any formal category but inspectors decided that enough progress had been made at the school to ensure it was not placed in special measures.

The controversial move to merge the schools was fought by parents and the community when Ormiston announced the plan in 2012.

Ofsted inspector John Peckham said in his report: “The improvements made since the predecessor schools were judged to require special measures in November and January last year is impressive.

“Leaders now have both the skills and techniques to be good, and have demonstrated a good capacity for further improvement.

“I am of the opinion that at this time, the academy is making reasonable progress in raising standards for all 

The report, based on a ‘no formal designation’ 
monitoring inspection, 
noted that students were making good or outstanding progress in just over half of the lessons observed, that well-planned lessons closely matched the needs of students and expectations were high.

Achievement in the sixth form was judged by 
inspectors to be the strongest in the academy and the 
academy’s principal, Dave Smith, had been ‘highly 
effective in building the new senior team and in gaining the confidence of students, staff and the wider community.’

Mr Smith said this week: “It has been a challenging term with huge amounts of change necessary.

“This report is affirmation that we are moving in the right direction and we have begun our journey in seeking 
outstanding outcomes for our young people.”

The Ofsted report also said that academy sponsor, the Ormiston Academies Trust, had ‘provided exemplary 
support since the full difficulties in the two predecessor academies became clear.’

Mr Peckham said that 
priorities for further 
improvement should be to: improve the quality of teaching; raise standards of achievement and rectify gaps in basic numeracy and literacy skills of students after they join the academy.