Northampton school celebrates good Ofsted rating after moving out of special measures

EMLC Academy Trust
EMLC Academy Trust

A Northampton school that was in special measures before becoming an academy has been rated 'good' by Ofsted.

Hardingstone Academy, which is run by EMLC Academy Trust, was visited by inspectors in September, who praised the school's leadership and the "impeccable" behaviour of the students.

Current principal, Zoe McIntyre, took over the school as it went into special measures in 2014 and launched a two-year improvement programme.

She said: "The comments from the inspectors in the report reflect the huge journey the academy has undertaken since its last inspection in April 2013. It reflects the incredible hard work and achievements of the entire academy.”

The newly-appointed Local Governing Body was also praised in the report.

Chair Angie Milne praised the staff at the school for the positive turnaround in performance.

“Mrs McIntyre, her leadership team and staff deserve a lot of credit for the improvements that have taken place. However, the biggest credit goes to our wonderful children, supported by their parents and carers," she said.

"In all of the positive feedback we were given, the comments about the children and their behaviour was amongst the most pleasing. For example, the pupils’ behaviour in the dining hall was described as impeccable.”

The detailed report praised the leadership and vision that had "united staff, pupils and parents around the core values of the academy".

Pupils spoken to by the inspectors said that the best thing about their school is that everyone respects each other and they work together as one big family. Older pupils spoke maturely about how much they enjoyed learning and coming to school.

Jan Marshall, chief executive officer of EMLC Academy Trust, said, “Mrs McIntyre took over the academy in April 2014 when the school joined the Trust. She and her team have worked tirelessly to improve progress and outcomes for the children. The Ofsted Report reflects this.”

Duncan Mills, managing director of EMLC Academy Trust, said, "The academy and the Trust are indebted to the contribution that our school improvement partner, Third Wave Enterprises, have made. Their work is a key ingredient in our drive to improve previously underperforming schools."

Early Years in the school, like all other aspects looked at by inspectors, achieved an outcome of ‘good’. The inspectors praised the pupils’ progress books as “a joy to look at”, saying that they demonstrated good progress.

Mrs McIntyre said, “At Hardingstone we have worked hard to add enrichment to the curriculum. The pupil’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is described as “interwoven” within the academy’s core values and underpinning all areas of the academy’s work.

"Governors, the leadership team and all staff are now focused on the academy achieving the next level of Outstanding. Work towards achieving this has already been identified and strategies put in place to build on our success.”