THE NEW Eastbourne Academy in Hampden Park has improved, according to Ofsted.
The secondary school in Broderick Road, formerly known as Eastbourne Technology College, became an academy in September 2010 and Ofsted inspectors made their first visit recently. They carried out a monitoring inspection at the school and said that improvements had been made.
The report said, “Attendance remains low but there are signs of gradual improvement over the last year and so far this year. The academy has prioritised tackling persistent absenteeism, and the importance of good attendance is continually emphasised, for example in assemblies.
“The academy is aware that absence levels have a significant adverse effect on standards. However, strategies over the last year have lacked clarity and significant impact.
“Punctuality is improving and students generally arrive on time for lessons.”
The inspectors said behaviour had also improved over the last year and said students throughout the school now feel safer and more confident that any difficulties will be quickly and effectively resolved.
The inspectors said, “They now move around the academy in an orderly and thoughtful manner. There is some boisterous behaviour in corridors but it is not disruptive.
“The academy’s work to develop an ethos that supports better quality learning has been successful and many students speak of improvements in the behaviour of their peers in lessons.
“Attitudes to learning are generally positive and willing but students are uncritical of the quality of their understanding in too many lessons, and do not often show independence and enterprise in their approach.”
The report also highlights a ‘number of important opportunities for students to develop leadership skills’.
The report added, “For example, being prefects, student supporters, peer mediators and sports leaders. Students adopting such roles gain in confidence as a result.”
Keith Pailthorpe, principal of Eastbourne Academy, said, “This was the first time the Academy has been visited by Ofsted and it was only a brief stay, nevertheless we were pleased that they agreed with our judgements about how we are raising standards. We are making improvements in attainment, attendance, punctuality, behaviour and teaching – all the things that really matter to students and their parents. We are proud of our excellent work on student leadership and preparing our students to take their place in society, and we agreed with Ofsted that 91 per cent of students getting at least five good GCSE grades really is ‘a significant achievement for the new academy’.
“Parents and the community are already telling us that they have noticed the huge improvement in our students – their conduct, work and appearance, and we are looking forward to the £10 million buildings project next year! This is a school on the up.”