Visual arts college taken out of special measures

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A DONCASTER secondary school has been removed from special measures, months before it becomes an academy.

Ofsted confirmed to the Hatfield Visual Arts College it was now classed as ‘satisfactory’ after a two-day inspection earlier this month.

The inspectors’ approval comes as Doncaster Council backed a switch of the nature of the school to become an academy from September 1.

It will be known as Ash Hill Academy, and will be sponsored by the School Partnership Trust.

The trust is already involved in two other Doncaster schools - the de Warenne Academy in Conisbrough, and Rossington All Saints School.

Hatfield headteacher Dave Williams said he felt it was important for the school to be out of special measures before it became an academy.

He said: “We are extremely pleased with the Ofsted judgement.

“It is down to hard work from the students, the staff, and the support of the community and the parents.

“Since we had been in special measures we had taken it as a challenge, and now we are coming out as a stronger school.

“Coming out of special measures has allowed us to prove to people that we have been doing the job we are paid to, and that we are not being forced into becoming an academy.”

Ofsted inspector Christopher Keeler said: “Under the direction of the headteacher, the senior leadership team has made good progress over the last two years.”

He said there had been considerable improvements to teaching and learning, leadership, as well as improvements in pupils’ standards of behaviour and general attitude.

As a result, attainment was rising and youngsters at the school were making better progress, he said.

He added: “The college leadership does not see this as the end of the journey, rather the beginning of a new phase, to become regarded as a good college.”