Ofsted praises Northamptonshire school for making improvements in quest for better rating

New headteacher at The Parker E-ACT Academy in Daventry finding success and behaviour is on the up, says watchdog
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A Northamptonshire school has been praised by Ofsted for 'taking effective action' to improve after a visit from the education watchdog.

The Parker E-ACT Academy in Daventry was given encouragement it could be rated as 'good' as opposed to 'requires improvement' in a letter published on February 26.

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Head teacher Simon Cox said: "It is great news that Ofsted have recognised the significant progress taking place here at The Parker E-ACT Academy.

The Parker E-ACT Academy, Ashby Road, Daventry. Photo: GoogleThe Parker E-ACT Academy, Ashby Road, Daventry. Photo: Google
The Parker E-ACT Academy, Ashby Road, Daventry. Photo: Google

"Whilst there is undoubtedly more work to be done, our progress comes as a direct result of the dedication and hard work of trust and academy staff, and that of our students, whose innovation, enthusiasm and creativity continue to inspire us.

"Working closely with our community has also been key. Daventry is a very tight-knit community and The Parker is an important part of that.

"Although it can sometimes be difficult for our children to branch out of Daventry and the surrounding villages, our job is to open the door to a whole world of opportunities where they can go on to do wonderful things.

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"The key to transforming a school is raising standards and aspirations, so we have focused on understanding the needs of our young people to give them the motivation they need to achieve by ‘working hard’, ‘staying humble’ and ‘dreaming big’.

"With the close support of academy parents and the wider community, we are continuing to transform The Parker E-ACT Academy into the fantastic place of learning it is today."

Ofsted hailed the new headteacher at the Ashby Road school and found behaviour and provisions for special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) had improved during the visit on January 22.

"Senior leaders and the trust are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified at the recent section five inspection in order for the school to become good," the letter, sent on February 7, reads.

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"The school should take further action to continue to develop the curriculum so that learning in all subjects and key stages is ambitious and carefully sequenced to help all pupils to know more and remember more."

The Parker Academy was told to improve by Ofsted after the last inspection in March 2018, with the then-headteacher leaving shortly afterwards.

New head, Simon Cox, who joined in April 2019, was praised by the inspectors for bringing 'a renewed vigour and a clear sense of direction for the school'.

"You have worked with senior leaders to begin to address several weaknesses," Her Majesty’s inspector Chris Davies' letter says.

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"You and the staff are bringing about improvements in the quality of education and the behaviour of pupils in particular."

Ofsted were told by pupils and staff that behaviour has improved, partly down to a new approach which has led to a 'significant reduction' in fixed-term exclusions.

However attendance was still an issue, especially for disadvantaged and SEND pupils, while outcomes for sixth form students 'remains too low'.

E-ACT chief executive Jane Millward said: "I am pleased that Ofsted’s latest monitoring inspection report recognises the significant impact that the trust’s leadership is having at The Parker E-ACT Academy.

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"We are ambitious in our plans for The Parker, and under the leadership of Mr Cox, we are confident that the academy will continue to make strong progress.

"Through fantastic teaching, a focus on aspirational activities outside the classroom and by placing the mental wellbeing of our students and staff at the centre of all we do, we are seeing our academies progress at a rapid rate.

"At E-ACT we are proud of the fact that over 80 per cent of our academies are rated at least 'good' or better by Ofsted.

"We are confident that The Parker E-ACT Academy will join this group by the time of their next full Ofsted inspection."