School beginning to make progress, say inspectors

Freeston Academy celebrating an improvement in its Ofsted result. Joel Rylance, Connor Sadler, Amy Wood, Amelia Shilito, Kiara Reid, Brian Veliska, all student council representatives.

Freeston Academy celebrating an improvement in its Ofsted result. Joel Rylance, Connor Sadler, Amy Wood, Amelia Shilito, Kiara Reid, Brian Veliska, all student council representatives.

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An education watchdog has recognised improvements made by an academy by raising its effectiveness grade.

But Ofsted said there was still work to be done at Freeston Academy in Normanton, after a period of “significant turbulence”, including a fire which destroyed the school library last summer. Inspectors, who visited the academy in November, concluded it was no longer ‘inadequate’ but deemed it to ‘require improvement’.

Inspectors said the school had experienced turbulence

Inspectors said the school had experienced turbulence

Their inspection report read: “Due to a period of significant turbulence including staff changes, recruitment issues, staff absence and a fire at the school, leaders have been slower to have an impact on aspects of school improvement.”

They praised the school’s safeguarding practices, improvements in pupil behaviour and its curriculum and said middle leaders had been supported to improve systems and practices since the school joined the Wakefield City Acadmies Trust in September 2015.

But they said more work was needed to improve attendance and the quality of teaching and learning.

Mike Tarr, who became principal last year, said: “We know there is a huge amount to do but the report praises our staff, governors and students as we work together to turn around the academy. We know our weaknesses and, when inspectors visit in around 12 months, I am confident they will see a different academy again.”

Chair of the governing body Glyn Bishop added: “We have seen consistent progress and the Ofsted report recognises this. We are confident about the future.”