The incredible turnaround in the fortunes of a Doncaster school was completed today when Government inspectors rated it as ‘outstanding’ - after just five years.
Trinity Academy is only in its sixth year but in that time has taken secondary education in Thorne from experiencing ‘serious weaknesses’ at the predecessor school to the top grade.
And the level of response from satisfied parents endorses the views of the Ofsted inspectors who visited Trinity last month to observe lessons and evaluate the results of nearly 880 questionnaires.
Trinity, which has 1,330 students and is part of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation, is now one of only two schools in Doncaster to hold the new outstanding status.
Ofsted inspector Clive Moss said: “A combination of outstanding care, guidance and support, an extensive and varied curriculum, and teaching that is predominantly good results in the students making exceptional progress over the course of their time at the academy.”
He said attainment was ‘close to being high’ and the rate of increase was consistently much better than the rate of improvement nationally.
Almost all groups of students achieve examination results that are significantly above national averages and much higher than might be expected given their starting points.
In its last year as Thorne Grammar, only 35 per cent of pupils obtained GCSE grades A* to C. Parents of children who attended both schools have also commented on the improvement. Sixth formers were praised for supporting the local community ‘outstandingly well’, with one student explaining how they helped the elderly and housebound during the winter snow by shopping for them.
Mr Moss said the proportion of parents returning a questionnaire was almost four times the average for academies, indicating ‘a high level of satisfaction’.
Trinity principal Ian Brew said: “Education for young people in this community has come on quite a journey since the idea of an academy was first mooted for Thorne and Moorends.
“We built a superb new building and brought together a team of exceptional teaching and support staff.
“An immense amount of hard work has been put into this transformation, which I believe shows just what is possible.
“What has driven us is a determination to ensure our young people get the education they deserve. This community now knows it has the very best, although we are not complacent and will continue to push us on towards even better things.”
Mr Brew also thanked parents for their contribution. “The inspectors were amazed by the sheer volume of parental responses to the Ofsted questionnaire and that they gave overwhelmingly positive comments,” he said.
“This is of course the secret of our success as a trinity of parents, staff and students work together to create an outstanding school.”