Salford City Academy are celebrating this week after Ofsted judged them to have improved enough to garner a ‘Good’ rating.
One inspection 18 months ago revealed ‘serious weaknesses’ in management and leadership at the school, on the Brookhouse estate in Peel Green, Eccles.
The January 2014 assessment dropped the school two stages down from its previous ‘Good’ rating.
Inspectors judged the school to have serious weaknesses in pupil achievement, saying: “The proportion of students attaining five or more GCSEs, at grades A* to C, including English and mathematics, is well below average and has declined in recent years.”
They also found the quality of teaching, pupil behaviour and leadership at fault.
It’s been fighting to improve ever since.
But a monitoring report published on 10 December found signs of progress at the Peel Green school, with improving GCSE results in maths, English and science.
New Principal Helen Mackenzie OBE was appointed in August 2014 and the school says their leadership team has introduced a raft of improvements which have already begun to take effect.
And this most recent report found a “tidal change in attitudes” with “engagement between parents and teachers…now blossoming”.
It added that senior leadership, teaching, learning and student behaviour were much improved.
Inspectors praised the “inspiring and firm lead” of Principal Helen Mackenzie and her team who are “determined to make a difference to students’ lives”.
Poor attendance and punctuality among staff and students was much reduced and the school had instigated
“Inventive approaches to strengthen reading and writing in literacy… resulting in students making great strides in their phonic and reading development.”
Principal Helen Mackenzie OBE said: “This report is highly encouraging and something that everyone – students, staff, parents and governors alike – should be proud of.
“It is gratifying that inspectors have recognised the significant progress that we all know has been underway at the academy and reflected this in such a strong report.
“I would like to congratulate and thank staff and students for all their hard work and determination in helping us achieve this.”
Main image: Helen Mackenzie with (L-R) Oliver Lefley, Morgan Burtwistle-Smith, Precious Oladele and Tia Merrishaw