On behalf of the Governors, staff and students of Oldbury Academy, I would like to share with you our recent Ofsted inspection report.

On Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th December, five inspectors observed pupils both in and out of lessons; scrutinised documents and questionnaires; met and talked to a large number of staff and pupils; visited assemblies and held meetings with a range of staff, governors and other stakeholders.

Ofsted judged our academy to still require improvement. We are slightly disappointed with the judgement given the strides our school has made over the last two years, but we understand the journey we are on. The inspectors have recognised in their report that there is capacity for the academy to continue to improve along this journey; ‘the impact of leaders is becoming evident through the pace at which targeted improvements are beginning to be implemented. This is demonstrating that current leaders have the necessary skills and abilities to bring about further improvements’.

The report does recognise several strengths of our school, which I am very proud of. Students’ personal development, behaviour and welfare were recognised as good, with inspectors praising this area of our school. They said that students ‘show respect for others, and have positive attitudes to school.’ The report went on to recognise the ‘rapid improvements that have been secured in the behaviour of students over this academic year.’ Ofsted also praised our approach to improving attendance, to the extent that our school attendance is now above the national average.  This is particularly pleasing and recognises the efforts that students put in on a day to day basis. Students value their education and are proud of their school.

Furthermore, inspectors graded our sixth form as good. They recognised the high quality teaching that takes place, which have led to excellent outcomes for students in academic and vocational subjects. Inspectors said ‘outcomes are good’ and ‘provision is effective’, going on to say that ‘teachers know their students well and plan carefully to meet individual needs.’ Inspectors also recognised and praised the high number of students that went on to study at university post-18.

Following the inspection, senior leaders have reviewed our current improvement plan, which clearly focuses upon continuing to develop the quality of educational provision that our students receive. The report recognises that teaching has improved in school, which is pleasing, and highlights teaching in maths and history as being the most effective, but identifies that further improvement is still needed. We have started to restructure the processes in which we intervene to support student outcomes, to ensure that systems and strategies for tracking progress are used by teachers and middle leaders more effectively.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support for our school. I am very proud of everything we have achieved together since I became Headteacher in September 2016, and I know we are moving in the right direction. The reports recognised our ‘restructured and capable leadership team who have accelerated the pace of improvement’ and our high quality recruitment of ‘high quality teaching staff and leaders.’ Most importantly, I am very proud of each and every one of our students, and their achievements, and we will continue to strive to ensure they are able to reach their full potential.

If you have any questions regarding the Ofsted inspection or the contents of the report, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. You read the full report by clicking here.

Yours sincerely,

Philip Shackleton