Concord Junior Academy: Sheffield school rated 'Good' by Ofsted after 10 years of effort to improve
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Concord Junior Academy has been graded as 'requires improvement' by the education watchdog twice since it reopened under Brigatia Learning Trust in 2014, and the site has never had a 'thumbs up' from inspectors in its history.
Now, after a decade of effort, the school in Wincobank is celebrating after finally shaking off the lacklustre score and earning a 'Good' rating in all areas.
In its latest report published in July, inspectors said: "Concord Junior Academy is calm and welcoming. Pupils feel happy and safe. Staff invest in pupils. Relationships are nurturing. This supports pupils if they have concerns or worries. Pupils say the best thing about the school is the teachers. Pupils state, ‘Teachers are kind and help us when we struggle'.
"Leaders have high expectations for pupil behaviour. Staff support pupils to make the right choices. They behave well in lessons and at break times. Pupils are polite and respectful."
It comes after the school's last two Ofsted visits only scored 'requires improvement' in all areas. Inspectors were not complimentary, writing that the school had "a legacy of underperformance" to shake off when it opened as an academy in 2014.
The school has had three different headteachers since launching as an academy and is currently led by executive principal Kelly Howes.
Ms Howes said: "I would like to acknowledge, praise and thank our pupils, staff, families, trustees and wider Trust community for all that has been achieved at Concord.
"Our academy has celebrated an upward trajectory of improvement and success, and I am delighted that the Ofsted report has recognised our achievements and progress. I am delighted to be leading the academy and look forward to continuing our journey of success”.
The school now plans on holding a celebration day on October 12 in the new term, which will also mark its football team heading to Wembley for the Utilita Cup final.
CEO of Brigantia Learning Trust, Mike Westerdale, said: “On behalf of the Trust, I would like to add my congratulations to everyone involved in the transformation of Concord. Since my arrival in 2018 I am incredibly proud of the academy and trust team, and their determination in providing every pupil with the highest quality education and enrichment opportunities.
"It is a pleasure to see that this recent Ofsted inspection reflects the reality of Concord Junior Academy and to have achieved something the academy has never achieved before within 5 years, which included the ‘covid years’ is testimony to the strength and depth of the trust.”