Ofsted hails school's improvement

January 04 2022

Dean Anderson and sudents

Dean Anderson and sudents

SIR Bernard Lovell Academy in Oldland Common is celebrating after being upgraded to Good by the education watchdog Ofsted.
The inspectors’ report reflects the continuing improvement of the secondary school.  
SBL was placed in special measures by the education watchdog in 2014 and became an  academy a year later. Six months after Dean Anderson took over as principal, Ofsted removed the inadequate rating but said the school still required improvement. The school says the new judgement of good is a recognition of the hard work of staff, students, parents and carers and the support provided to SBL by its governors and the Futura Learning Partnership.
Mr Anderson said: “We have worked hard as a team to build our reputation in our community, and we are proud of how our students have responded.
“It is important that a community can be proud of its school and from the start we have had the aspiration that SBL will be the school of choice for children that grow up in this area. The increase in student numbers and this successful Ofsted inspection indicates that we are moving in the right direction.This is a great outcome for all involved with our school and community.”
The two-day Ofsted inspection took place in early November and was carried out by a team of four, led by Her Majesty’s Inspector Susan Aykin.  Their report included many positive comments about students’ attitudes and behaviour and noted the high and consistent expectations from staff. It said children enjoyed coming to school and had strong relationships with staff, which made them feel safe.
“Leaders … have created a very strong culture within the school where the well-being and safety of pupils are given the utmost importance,” the inspectors said.
The report praised the curriculum, which it said enabled children to develop strong knowledge across subjects. Other opportunities, including sports and creative clubs were also highlighted. It also said the sixth-form curriculum was well-structured and students were supported to achieve well.
The benefit for leaders and staff from working with other schools in Futura Learning Partnership was acknowledged.
Inspectors said the next steps, to enable the academy to improve further, should be to help students with special educational needs and disabilities develop literacy skills so they can learn well in all subjects and to improve personal and social education to prepare students for life in the 21st century.
Andrea Arlidge, chief executive of Futura Learning Partnership, which SBL joined in 2015, said: “I am delighted that the dedication and hard work of everyone at Sir Bernard Lovell Academy has been rewarded with this excellent report."
Malcolm Broad, chair of trustees, said: "This well earned Ofsted judgement reflects the dedicated hard work of the principal, Dean Anderson, and all his staff, especially set against the pandemic background.”