Hailsham school receives ‘good’ Ofsted rating for first time ever

A Hailsham school is celebrating its first ever ‘good’ Ofsted rating, with ‘outstanding’ leadership.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 3:40 pm
Phoenix Academy in Hailsham is celebrating a 'good' Ofsted report, with 'outstanding' leadership

Phoenix Academy, in Marshfoot Lane, was praised by inspectors as being a ‘rapidly improving school’ with pupils having pride to go there, in the report published after an inspection last month.

The school, which became part of the STEP Academy Trust in 2017, was said to have leaders with high aspirations for every pupil, with a vision of providing high quality education.

Reacting to the news, headteacher Alun Evans said, “This is an amazing achievement and is down to a supportive community working with talented staff.

“When the school joined the Trust, the assessment outcomes had always been poor and the expectation of children were low. Staffing was turbulent and it was normal for children to have a number of different teachers over an academic year.

“Over the last two years we have made significant changes, to improve the look and feel of Phoenix Academy, as well as the aspirations of our children.

“We were very pleased that Ofsted recognised that pupils were attentive and take learning seriously and that staff were determined for children to develop strong characters and become good citizens.”

Formerly part of East Sussex County Council and then Lilac Sky Schools Academy Trust, Marshlands joined STEP Academy Trust in 2017 under the new name of Phoenix Academy.

STEP’s chief executive, Mark Ducker, said, “Given the enormous challenges facing the school, this is an extraordinary outcome. Of course, the outstanding leadership of Head Teacher, Alun Evans, and his senior leadership team, have been pivotal.

“Leading a talented and committed team, within the context of a united trust, they have driven the rapid improvements. Our thanks and congratulations go to the whole STEP Team at Phoenix Academy.”

This is the first ‘good’ rating the school has received since its opening in 1972.