‘Candid reflection’ has seen improvements at academy trust, inspectors say
PUBLISHED: 08:31 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:40 13 December 2017
“Candid reflection, decisive leadership and clarity of purpose” has seen schools in a cross-border academy trust improve, inspectors say.
Ofsted visited seven schools, including two in Norfolk, in the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT) as part of a focused review.
The trust, which was founded in 2013, has 27 schools across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Suffolk and Norfolk, where it runs seven.
Inspectors said the trust had been on a “journey of systematic improvement” since last January, which has seen standards at many of its schools improve.
Addressing chief executive Andrew Read, they said: “Your candid reflection, decisive leadership and clarity of purpose have done much to improve the effectiveness of provision.
“The Diocese of Ely has a wholehearted commitment to improving the life chances of pupils across schools within the trust, however small the school and whatever its starting point.”
They also noted an “unwavering” commitment to improving education, and said headteachers had praised the trust, saying it “celebrates and seeks to promote the distinctive characteristics of each school”.
Inspectors said the trust had grown rapidly - in its first two years, it took on 18 schools, which had led to some issues.
They said recent growth had been more measured, and had seen the trust remain true to its “original principles, ethos and commitment to inclusion”.
Mr Read said: “The encouraging findings of the inspection reflect the hard work of the staff and pupils within the trust’s schools.
“The many positive statements about the leadership team are well-deserved, but we also recognise the helpful areas for further improvement identified by Ofsted, many of which mirror the national challenges we face within the education system for which we all share responsibility.”
Peter Maxwell, DEMAT board chairman, said the report was a “real credit” to the leadership team, and those working hard in the trust’s schools.
To improve, inspectors said outcomes should continue to improve further for all groups of pupils, while an approach to improving pupil attendance should be developed.
The Norfolk schools visited for the inspection were Runcton Holme Primary and All Saints Academy, in Stoke Ferry.
But DEMAT also runs schools including St Martin at Shouldham Primary Academy, Tilney All Saints Primary School and Hilgay Riverside Academy.