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Improving Wednesfield academy is ‘unrecognisable’

By Heather Large | Wednesfield | Education | Published:

A school which was rated as 'inadequate' two years ago has been praised by Ofsted for turning fortunes around and making positive progress.

Wednesfield High Specialist Engineering Academy has been praised by Ofsted

Inspectors said Wednesfield High Specialist Engineering Academy had undergone considerable improvements with behaviour, teaching and pupils’ progress all improving.

The academy, part of the University of Wolverhampton Multi-Academy Trust (UWMAT), was placed in special measures following a full inspection in January 2017.

Now following a new inspection at the start of December it has been judged as 'requires improvement'.

Inspectors found that the school was 'providing an acceptable standard of education' and was 'unrecognisable' from its last full inspection.

They stated: “The headteacher, well supported by effective senior leaders, has addressed weaknesses thoughtfully, methodically and successfully.”

Headteacher Clive Jones said he was pleased with the judgement but said staff would not rest on their laurels and would continue to make improvements.

The report highlighted that pupils feel safe and were well cared for, careers education was a particular strength, meaning almost all pupils moved on to education, employment and training when they leave, many aspects of the Sixth Form were judged to be very effective and work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare was judged as good.

Inspectors also noted governance at the school had considerably improved and that UWMAT provided effective scrutiny, challenge and support.

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Mr Jones, who was appointed in February 2017, said: “We are delighted that inspectors have recognised all of the hard work that has been done by senior leaders and staff across the school since the previous inspection.

“We are proud of our efforts so far to improve the school and we have sought to put students at the heart of what we do.

“I am particularly pleased that inspectors have noted the big improvements in behaviour, teaching and pupils’ progress and that pupils feel safe and well cared for by staff.

“Everyone acknowledges that coming out of special measures is just the first big step but we still have more to do. We do not just want to sit back. We want to continue to improve and strive to become a good school and improve the outcomes for all of our pupils.”

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Professor Michelle Lowe, chief executive of the University of Wolverhampton Multi-Academy Trust, said: “I’m really happy for the academy, the head, his staff and the whole school community.

“This turnaround is testament to a lot of hard work over 18 months to implement change and improvement at Wednesfield.

“The inspectors acknowledged the work the trust has done in providing effective support and scrutiny.

“The findings of the previous inspection were obviously very disappointing for all concerned with the school but the response to that setback has been fantastic.

“There is an established plan in place to keep the school moving in the right direction and to maintain continuous improvement.”

Wednesfield joined the University of Wolverhampton Multi-Academy Trust in January 2015.

The trust is made up of primary and secondary schools from the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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