Conisbrough academy still needs improvement

De Warenne Academy head teacher Gill Pollard after the schools Ofsted report. Picture: Andrew Roe
De Warenne Academy head teacher Gill Pollard after the schools Ofsted report. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Ofted inspectors say an academy still requires improvement - despite having ‘highly motivated staff’.

Following its most recent inspection, De Warenne Academy at Conisbrough was told it must improve its ‘quality of teaching, learning and assessment in all key stages’.

Lessons need to ‘take full account of the different needs of pupils, especially of boys, disadvantaged and the most able,’ the inspectors said.

They called for external reviews of the academy’s use of the pupil premium and of governance to assess how some aspects of leadership and management can be improved.

But principal Gill Pollard remains optimistic about pupils’ progress within the academy.

She said: “At a time when the Ofsted framework has changed to raise the bar and make it much more challenging for schools to achieve a good judgement, we are delighted that so many aspects of our work are acknowledged and praised in this report and in particular that personal development and welfare were judged as good.

“We recognise that there is still work to do to raise attainment and improve progress and OFSTED commented that leaders are making a positive difference and, as a result across all key stages including the sixth form, there is a clear improvement in the numbers of pupils who are on track to make the expected progress.”

But the steps taken so far by senior leaders to improve pupils’ achievement have not been effective, and middle leaders are not skilled enough to lift the quality of teaching, said the education watchdogs.

The quality of teaching is not consistently good across subjects, the academy was told. Pupils are, however, ‘prepared well for life in modern Britain’. They feel ‘safe and secure’ and bullying is rare.