Academy with two schools in Northampton told to make “urgent improvements” by Ofsted

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Library picture

A trust which runs nine schools in the county, including two in Northampton, must “urgently improve pupils’ achievement” as part of a series of recommendations by Ofsted.

The results of a focused inspection of The Education Fellowship, have been published today (Tuesday).

The inspections are designed to establish the effectiveness of a multi-academy trust in supporting and challenging academy schools within individual chains.

Following the inspection, inspectors have said: “There is no clear record of improvement in the trust’s academies and standards across the trust are unacceptably variable.

“In around three-quarters of the academies, standards are poor.

“Just three of the trust’s 12 academies are currently good, none is outstanding and two are inadequate.

“One of these inadequate academies is not making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.

“Standards declined in five of the eight primary academies in 2014.

“In the majority of the trust’s 12 academies, the gap in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their better-off peers, both within the academies and compared with pupils nationally, remains unacceptably wide.”

However, the inspectors say the executive board has an ambitious three-year improvement plan and greater improvement can be seen in some of the trust’s secondary academies.

Following the inspection, a number of recommendations have been made to tackle the areas highlighted as requiring improvement.

They have said the trust must urgently improve the achievement of pupils across both primary and secondary academies, closing the gaps in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and other pupils nationally.

It must develop and strengthen leadership at all levels in those academies that are not yet good, as well as develop the work of the lead teachers further to ‘intensify the overall quality of teaching across the academies and improve pupils’ outcomes.’

Five academies were inspected as part of the trust’s focused inspection carried out between June 2 and 5.

Two of these were full inspections and three were monitoring inspections.

The academies were all due for an inspection by the end of this academic year.

As well as the inspections, telephone discussions were held with the principals of seven other academies.

A follow-up visit to The Education Fellowship was also conducted where inspectors spoke to senior and operational staff, principals, governors, strategic partners and other stakeholders.

The trust’s county schools are Risedene Academy in Rushden, Rushden Academy, Wrenn School, Olympic Primary School, Ruskin Junior School and Warwick Primary School in Wellingborough, and Windmill Primary School in Raunds.

It also runs Blackthorn Primary Academy and Thorplands Primary and Day Nursery in Northampton.

The letter sent to The Education Fellowship has been published online at