Ripon Academy retains grade

Ripon’s Outwood Academy has kept its outstanding Ofsted grading but has been told that it could have been a different result.

By Janet Harrison
Thursday, 7th July 2022, 3:24 pm

Following inspection by officers from the education standards body over two days last May, a report released this week praised the pupils and staff but added there was room for improvement.

The report stated: “There has been no change to this school’s overall judgement of outstanding as a result of this initial (section 8) inspection.

“However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a full inspection were carried out now.

“The next inspection will, therefore, be a full (section 5) inspection.”

Inspectors added: “Pupils are supported by caring staff who know them well.

“Pupils know that learning is important and apply themselves diligently to their work.

“Leaders have put an ambitious curriculum in place. Teachers make sure that pupils understand and remember what they have learned over time.”

The added: “Leaders are ambitious for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

“Pupils with SEND are supported by knowledgeable staff who know them well. ‘Pupil passports’ set out important information so that staff can help pupils in

lessons.

“However, some plans do not contain sufficiently precise information about the support pupils need. As a result, the support that some pupils with SEND receive is variable.

“Some parents of pupils with SEND are concerned about how well their child is doing. They would like more frequent communication from the school.”

During the inspection, inspectors said they saw a calm and orderly environment around school and pupils listened carefully to teachers.

“They behaved well at social times and enjoyed talking with their friends, however, a number of pupils voice concerns about behaviour and bullying.”

William Pratt, Principal, thanked the school and wider community, especially during the pandemic disruption.

Ofsted will reinspect the academy, which was awarded outstanding in 2016, within the next two years.