‘Our pupils and our staff are fantastic day in and day out’

Featherstone Academy are celebrating.
Featherstone Academy are celebrating.

A school is celebrating after being given a ‘good’ rating by education inspectors, with pupil behaviour classed as ‘outstanding’ just three years after being heavily criticised.

Featherstone Academy was dropped into special measures following an inspection in 2014, in which all areas were given the worst possible rating, including teaching, leadership and behaviour.

Featherstone Academy doing well after being in special measures two years ago. Staff and students celebrating.

Featherstone Academy doing well after being in special measures two years ago. Staff and students celebrating.

A year later, the Pontefract Road school had improved and clawed its way up to the next level of being ‘inadequate’.

But now, following a visit in February, there are reasons to celebrate after it finally reaching the next level.

Jo Wray, headteacher, said: “We went in to the inspection full of confidence as we see day in day out just how fantastic the staff and students at the academy are. It was a tough couple of days, but so exciting to be able to show the school off and have the opportunity to prove just how much we have improved and how allow all of the hard work to be recognised.

“The report turned out to be a huge success and has given us real focus and enthusiasm to make sure the next inspection is even better and allowed us to see that getting better never stops.”

The report say that pupils now work hard, treat each other with respect, are now proud to be at the school and have high aspirations for their future.

It says that leaders have also taken ‘effective action’ to eradicate weaker teaching and leading to good progress in most subjects including English, mathematics and science.

Mrs Wray was also singled out for particular praise, but the whole report makes pleasant reading.

It reads: “The executive headteacher and head of school have an uncompromising ambition for the school. Their strong leadership has led to better teaching, improved behaviour and attendance and higher attainment for pupils.

“The school’s system to promote excellent behaviour and attitudes to learning is highly effective.

“Leaders know what needs to be done to improve the school further. Effective professional development and coaching support for staff has resulted in improvements to the quality of teaching.”

Mrs Wray added: “We are extremely proud of our overall judgement.

“This supports our values of discipline whilst providing a strong pastoral backdrop, excellent careers information and guidance.

“Staff, students and parents combine to support a relentless focus on improving the education of the Featherstone community.

“Aspirations and expectations are rising and there is an increasing sense of pride and self-belief that we will be outstanding within the next three years.”