Northampton school ‘thrilled’ after Ofsted rates areas ‘good’ - but still requires improvement overall

This is the first time Weston Favell Academy has achieved higher than ‘requires improvement’ in any area

By Megan Hillery
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 7:30 am

A Northampton secondary school is celebrating what they have dubbed a “landmark moment” after Ofsted rated areas to be ‘good’ for the first time ever, despite still requiring improvement overall.

Ofsted carried out an inspection of Weston Favell Academy on February 23 and 24 and, in a report published on April 29, rated the school as ‘good’ in sixth-form provision, leadership and management and personal development as well as behaviour and attitudes.

The quality of education still, however, requires improvement which has brought the academy’s overall rating to ‘requires improvement.’ The academy has never before achieved higher than ‘requires improvement’ in any area.

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Weston Favell Academy.

Principal Todd Johnson, who joined the academy in April 2021, said: “We are thrilled that Ofsted has recognised the huge changes at Weston Favell Academy.

“As the report notes, many subjects in our curriculum are already enabling pupils to remember and build upon knowledge.

“We already have plans in place to achieve this same level of depth in the remaining subjects and are confident we are well on our way to being a ‘good’ school overall when Ofsted returns – we look forward to welcoming them back.”

Weston Favell Academy told the Chronicle & Echo that they have “transformed provision” for its pupils and families since their previous inspection in 2018 that also saw the school rated as “requires improvement.”

The report said: “Leaders at the school have changed many things since their arrival. They have engaged with pupils, parents and the wider community in their work to improve the school.”

One parent told an Ofsted inspector: “All staff are dedicated and the school is going from strength to strength.”

The education watchdog praised the academy’s “consistent approach to teaching”, the sixth form’s “well adapted programmes of study” and “effective” support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) as well as the school’s new reading programme.

Mr Johnson added: “We are also very proud that Ofsted recognised our sixth form provision is ‘good’ and that more pupils are now choosing to stay and study in our sixth form after they complete Year 11. This is all a testament to the excellent support from our colleagues, pupils, families and the wider community.”

Areas of improvement noted by Ofsted include the Key Stage Three curriculum, which inspectors said is not “as ambitious” as the national curriculum and does not currently enable pupils to experience the full breadth and depth of all subjects.

The report added that teachers need to ensure that pupils’ knowledge is secure before moving onto new learning, breaking down knowledge more effectively and ensuring that all opportunities for personal development are of equally high quality and accessible to all pupils.

Weston Favell Academy operates under the Greenwood Academies Trust.

Chief executive at Greenwood Academies Trust, Wayne Norrie, said: “Todd and his team deserve huge credit for what they have achieved.

“Weston Favell Academy is a different place now, and we are so proud this report recognises the incredibly hard work of everyone involved.”