‘Inadequate’ school making improvement after sweeping changes

Queen Elizabeths Academy in Mansfield, which is now showing improvements, according to Ofsted inspectors.
Queen Elizabeths Academy in Mansfield, which is now showing improvements, according to Ofsted inspectors.
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Positive improvements have been made at a Mansfield school after scathing criticism by Ofsted inspectors led to mass resignations and sweeping changes.

Queen Elizabeth’s Academy was branded ‘inadequate’ in its latest full report, published last summer. It led to the head teacher and chairman of governors quitting, and 14 teachers also leaving.

But a monitoring visit by two inspectors in December has found that effective action is now being taken at the Chesterfield Road South School, just one term into its link-up with a new sponsor, the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership (DLAP).

“We are very encouraged by the report and are pleased that the hard work of staff, our board and the DLAP team is having a positive effect,” said the school’s new executive principal, Neil Holmes.

“The changes in just one term have reaped benefits for our students and staff, and we will continue to keep improving. There are still challenges, but we are responding positively.”

The original report lambasted Queen Elizabeth’s for “structural weaknesses, such as the school’s finances and the organisation of staff”. It also criticised the quality of teaching, disappointing exam results, poor attendance and behaviour of some pupils and poor provision for pupils with special needs and disabilities.

However, the latest report said: “The new sponsor has made a convincing start to support the school, bringing much-needed clarity to its direction and expectations. The quality of teaching is improving, although there remain too many areas where it is inadequate, and pupils continue to under-achieve across a range of subjects.”

The DLAP, based at Kelham Hall, near Newark, is a collaboration of nine primary and secondary academies across the East Midlands, committed to developing and improving youngsters’ education. It has taken under its wing another Mansfield school, Wainwright Primary on Harrop White Road, which was said to ‘require improvement’ after its latest Ofsted inspection.

A monitoring visit in November has revealed it has made marked progress too, thanks to wide-ranging strategies particularly aimed at the quality of teaching. Executive principal Louise Davidson said: “The staff have worked exceptionally hard to embrace the changes. The results of pupils and the feedback from parents show we are making a difference.”