Academy scores a hat-trick with Ofsted

City High School Wakefield is celebrating its third successive 'outstanding' OFSTED report. Suzanne Austwick, Brian Yellop, Marie Hunter.
City High School Wakefield is celebrating its third successive 'outstanding' OFSTED report. Suzanne Austwick, Brian Yellop, Marie Hunter.

A hat-trick of outstanding ofsted reports was being celebrated at Wakefield City Academy this week.

The Eastmoor School was judged to be outstanding by Ofsted inspectors for the third time in a row.

In a recently published report, inspectors who visited the academy last month, said: “Very high expectations of both academic achievement and behaviour from all staff have led to a culture of achievement for all. This means that in lessons students want to learn and succeed.”

The report said the progress students make between Year 7, when they start school, and when they take their GCSE’s in Year 11, is ‘exceptional,’ especially in maths and English, adding: “As a result all students go onto employment, education or training at the end of Year 11.”

Inspectors also praised the behaviour of students. They said: “Behaviour in lessons and around the school is excellent. Students have a sense of belonging to the Wakefield City Academy ‘family’. They watch out for each other and respect each other’s differences and beliefs.”

Innovative management methods were also highlighted as a strength. Inspectors said: “The headteacher and two co-headteachers have established a ‘no blame, can do’ culture where staff are willing to take risks with their teaching and go ‘the extra mile’. As a result, students’ attainment is rising.”

The inspection team observed 35 lessons and held meetings with management, teachers and governors and had informal chats with students. They also scrutinised the pupils’ work.

Delighted executive headteacher Alan Yellup, who has been at the helm for all three inspections, dating back to 2005, said: “This inspection was our toughest yet, and yet again the result counteracts the myth that schools in challenging circumstances can’t be outstanding.

“It also pays tribute to the talented, hard working staff we have, and the attitudes and efforts of our students. They believe they can be successful and work really hard.

“We’re one big team. We’re always pushing the boundaries to achieve better, and the last thing we will be is complacent.”
Wakefield City Academy recently gained sponsor status from the secretary of state for education, and is in the process of establishing the Wakefield City Academies Trust, which will enable it to run other schools.

It is also a national teaching school.

Mr Yellup said he couldn’t wih for better support from parents and governors either.