Free uniform in bid to raise standards

Queen Elizabeth's students show off their new blazers.
Queen Elizabeth's students show off their new blazers.

Students at a Mansfield school have been given a new look – with free blazers and ties given to every pupil.

It is just one of the changes at Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, on Chesterfield Road South, in a bid to improve standards.

Helena Brothwell, academy principal, said: “There is a proven link between strong standards of uniform and positive learning experiences.

“In this time of families having to carefully balance budgets, we did not want the new blazers to be an unwanted financial burden, hence our commitment to supporting every family with the cost of uniform – we will continue to do this for students who will join us in September 2018.

“It is vital every student in our community can proudly wear our new uniform and feel a sense of belonging to Queen Elizabeth’s.

“There is a positive buzz around the site and the students all look smart, professional and keen to learn.”

In another change this year, lessons will be taught through “traditional grammar-style, direct-instruction teaching”, in a year of “accelerated learning”.

Miss Brothwell said: “We are making this change as we continually improve discipline, improve vocabulary, accelerate learning of key knowledge and drive process.

“Our teachers are experts in their fields and they will deliver the knowledge to all students in a direct manner, from the front, using repetition and firm strategies to ensure information locks into memory.”

The school was placed into special measures in 2015 after inspectors from Ofsted identified a number of failings.

It has since been taken over by another sponsor, the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership, effectively wiping clean its previous ratings and giving the academy a three-year window to improve before the next Ofsted inspection.

Miss Brothwell said: “We have made significant progress. Behaviour and attendance are improving and we have a number of exciting appointments. There is still work to be done, but we have a clear strategy and vision.”