Students’ improved progress recognised by schools inspector

Action by new leaders and governors is accelerating improvements at Trinity Academy, a school inspector has reported.

The quality of teaching and pupils’ progress are both improving at the school, where increased academic challenge for students is matched by a determination to do better.

An inspector recently carried out a second monitoring visit following the academy being confirmed as requiring improvement in September 2017.

A new executive principal, Jonathan Winch, was appointed by the Emmanuel Schools Foundation Multi Academy Trust in February, followed by the secondment of a director of teaching school and the appointment of an assistant vice principal with responsibility for assessment.

The improvements were highlighted in the overall progress of Year 11 students who left this summer being “much improved” when compared to the cohort who left in 2017.

The Year 11 cohort of 2018, whose progression at GCSE was mentioned in the inspector’s report.

Mr Winch said: “I am delighted with the inspector’s conclusion that senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified previously in order for the school to become ‘good’.

“There is more work to do, of course, but the report confirms that we are moving forward in a positive way and have tackled head-on the issues highlighted as needing attention last time.”

In his report, the inspector says “the majority of teaching is characterised by excellent relationships with pupils, probing questioning that allows the teacher to swiftly assess pupils’ understanding, and strong subject knowledge”.  

Leaders’ targeted support for teachers is contributing towards higher expectations in the classroom and improving the effectiveness of subject leadership with tailored training from the trust centring on pupil progress.

Staff from Trinity are given the opportunity to visit other trust and local schools to work together and learn from their counterparts to ensure they have “the tools to do their job to the best of their ability”.

Governors were praised for being “more inquisitive”, visiting frequently to take part in meetings, listen to presentations from staff, evaluate the work of leaders and contribute to the strategic direction of the academy. They were recognised for being unafraid to make tough decisions for the benefit of students.

The inspectors highlighted just two areas on which further work is required: attendance, and improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment so that progress improves further, particularly in mathematics.

Mr Winch added: “We are working hard to ensure that all Trinity students receive consistently effective teaching across all subjects so that every student makes good progress.

“On attendance, the inspector noted “some green shoots of improvement” since we created junior and senior pastoral leader roles and introduced initiatives aimed at producing a rapid and marked improvement. However, we must work together as a community to ensure that all students attend school as required.”