New Ofsted report shows Yate academy still has unresolved problems

December 02 2015

YATE International Academy still has to improve, with weaknesses highlighted by Ofsted inspectors two years ago yet to be resolved.

YATE International Academy still has to improve, with weaknesses highlighted by Ofsted inspectors two years ago yet to be resolved.

A team from the education watchdog returned for another inspection and reported that all key areas, except one, had to get much better.

Only early years provision for the youngest children in the academy’s nursery and reception class could be rated as good.

The outcome is another setback for the school and the Ridings Federation of Academies, which runs the Yate (YIA) site.

Its chief executive principal, Beverley Martin, recently left and Yate’s sister academy in Winterbourne was told by Ofsted that it too had to improve.

The Winterbourne campus was also hit by strikes by teachers due to what they said was a breakdown in relations with the academy leadership.

Last month the chairman of the federation’s trustees, “Laz” Lazarides, asked for the continued support of parents to help get through “turbulent” times.

He hinted that the YIA inspection was likely to reveal problems. Now the document has been published but the academy said those problems identified were being addressed, with an action plan set to guide improvement.

A statement on the school website said: “It has been reassuring to see that inspectors felt the leadership team were already tackling specific areas of weakness.

“However, it is now important this is reflected in standards being raised, something we have already started to see.” 

Meanwhile, Melanie Warnes, chief executive principal of the trust which runs the Castle School in Thornbury, has been appointed as a short-term consultant to help get the academies back on track while the process of recruiting a replacement for Ms Martin continues.

Ofsted’s inspection was carried out when Ms Martin was on leave ahead of her departure being announced.

Its report highlighted bad behaviour by some secondary pupils, as well as teaching and a curriculum that was “not yet consistently good” across the academy.

 It also said: “In the secondary phase, pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development requires improvement.” 

But in the academy’s primary phase - Woodlands Primary and Nursery – there was praise for good learning, good behaviour and a high standard of provision.

The report said academy leaders knew what had to be done to improve and there were signs of that happening already, including in the punctuality of pupils and the smartness of their uniforms.