SBL told to do better

March 29 2018

SIR Bernard Lovell Academy in Oldland Common has been judged by Ofsted to require improvement in all areas.

The school had been placed in special measures by the watchdog in 2014 and became an academy in the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust (WMAT) in 2015.

In the first inspection since SBL joined the trust, Ofsted said the school was improving but outcomes were not yet good. Pupils with special educational needs were not achieving as highly as they should and those from disadvantaged backgrounds were “suffering from a legacy of underachievement”. Standards of teaching were said to be too variable and the report noted: "Improvements to behaviour are not yet having a strong enough impact on pupils’ attitudes to learning."

But lead inspector Lee Northern said the pace of improvement had stepped up since the arrival of principal Dean Anderson in 2017.

‘“The school is now set on a clear and secure path of improvement,” he said.

“There have been significant improvements to relationships, clarity of purpose and staff morale throughout the school.”

Mr Anderson said he recognised there is still a lot of work to be done. 

“Nothing in the report has come as a surprise as leaders at all levels have thoroughly evaluated our provision. We know exactly what we need to do to improve the quality of teaching and learning at the academy,” he said. 

“We are taking urgent action to introduce more challenging lessons, step up our extra-curricular provision and ensure our sixth-form provision overall prepares students for life beyond school. We are also continuing to work hard to reduce exclusions and improve attendance.”

The report acknowledges the impact of WMAT in helping to secure better outcomes for students.