Delight as school is rated good two years after being told to improve

Oakwood headteacher Jane Foyle and some of her pupils
Oakwood headteacher Jane Foyle and some of her pupils

Staff have shared their delight after their school was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.

Oakwood Primary Academy, in Magnolia Drive, Eastbourne, had been told to improve following its previous inspection, and an Ofsted team led by Matthew Newberry said it had done so “significantly”.

Mr Newberry and two colleagues visited the academy on July 12 and 13 when they observed 22 lessons.

In his report, he said head of school, Jane Foyle, and executive head, John Greenwood, had provided “determined and focused leadership”, adding: “As a result, the school has significantly improved since its last inspection and now provides a good standard of education for its pupils.”

Teaching was found to be good, with children making”great strides” in their learning.

Oakwood became part of the Aurora Academies Trust in September 2012, and Mr Newberry made particular note of the “effective training” the trust offered to school leaders at all levels. He added that this had “helped senior leaders improve the quality of teaching”.

Aurora’s chief executive officer Tim McCarthy, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the transformational improvements shown at Oakwood since it became part of Aurora Academies Trust. The report evidences the support and challenge that has been given to the school, which is clearly having a positive effect upon standards.”

Mrs Foyle added: “I am very proud to lead this school and I am delighted that Oakwood’s values have been praised by Ofsted.

“This is due to the strong relationships between children and adults, allied to our partnership working with parents.”

Oakwood still has work to do to gain the top ‘outstanding’ rating. Attendance, though improving, was found to be below average, while more needed to be done to help some parents work better with their child’s teacher.

Not all staff were sufficiently well trained in the use of phonics – the sounds letters make – and the systems used for tracking each pupil’s progress was not yet refined enough.

Mr Greenwoood, though, was confident the school was on the right track.

He said: “Oakwood was one of the lowest 200 performing schools in the country when Aurora took it on and therefore the road to turn it into a good school has been a long one, however we are not done yet.

“Oakwood is on a mission to become outstanding.”

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