Hanham Woods: Poor in all areas

December 01 2017

THE first Ofsted inspection of Hanham Woods Academy found the school to be Inadequate in all areas.

THE first Ofsted inspection of Hanham Woods Academy found the school to be Inadequate in all areas.

Following the visit by four inspectors to the 862-pupil school in Memorial Road on October 3, the school has been placed in Special Measures. 

Lead inspector Paul Williams said: "Senior leaders are failing to provide pupils with an acceptable standard of education. They have not done enough to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. As a result, pupils’ academic achievement has been held back for too long."

Hanham Woods Academy was opened by Cabot Learning Federation in 2014, replacing Hanham High School. But according to Ofsted, it has not yet secured improvements in achievement or behaviour.

"The trust underestimated the challenges faced by the school," Mr Williams said. 

"Pupils have underachieved across a range of subjects for too long. Pupils’ progress in GCSE English, mathematics and science has been unacceptably low."

Pupils' behaviour also came in for criticism. "Too many lessons are disrupted when pupils lose concentration," the report said. 


A new 'Ready to Learn' behaviour management system had been  introduced the day before the inspection so had not had time to take effect.

Ofsted acknowledged that safeguarding practices had improved at HWA and pupils felt safe and well cared for, while leaders had stabilised finances and got rid of a large budget deficit.

On the eve of the report's publication, CLF held meetings for parents, many of whom were angry at the school's failure.

Communication with families was one of the many criticisms in the report, and the school has now introduced weekly newsletters, regular parent forums and has stepped up work with the Friends of Hanham Woods Academy.

In response to the findings, principal Steve Kneller, who arrived at HWA in April 2016, said: "We recognise that the phrase ‘Special Measures’ sounds worrying to parents, but in practice it means we have to take immediate action with regard to the inspection report’s recommendations, so that we can demonstrate tangible improvement by the time Ofsted carries out a follow-up inspection. I want to assure parents that we will work tirelessly to achieve this. We need to work together to ensure the very best outcomes for all young people who attend the Academy.” 

Steve Taylor, chief executive of the CLF, said: “While this news is extremely disappointing for all concerned, the Federation will be supporting the Principal, Steve Kneller, and his team as they work through the inspectors’ recommendations as a matter of urgency. I remain absolutely confident that we will get Hanham Woods Academy back on track.”