Hope Academy out of special measures

Principal Patrick Ferguson, whose leadership at Hope Academy was praised as being instrumental in helping the Newton school out of special measures
Principal Patrick Ferguson, whose leadership at Hope Academy was praised as being instrumental in helping the Newton school out of special measures

Hope Academy in Newton-le-Willows has been brought out of special measures.

Ofsted inspectors praised the “exceptional” leadership of new Hope Academy Principal Patrick Ferguson and his team following the Newton school’s latest inspection – which saw it upgraded from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’.

Hope Academy in Newton-le-Willows is now out of special measures

Hope Academy in Newton-le-Willows is now out of special measures

The impact made by the incoming Hope team has been dramatic. Effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment and personal development, behaviour and welfare were all graded ‘good’ following last month’s inspection.

In their report inspectors said: “Teachers are utterly committed to improving their practice and providing the best quality education they can for their pupils.

Their dedication and the high-quality training programmes they receive mean that teaching is now good overall.

“The quality of support and care for pupils is outstanding. Staff are highly responsive to pupils’ academic and personal needs.”

The leadership team still has work to do however. Outcomes for pupils and 16-19 study programmes were both deemed as ‘requiring improvement’. Yet the overall picture is one of steady improvement.

“Leaders have a thorough and precise view of the quality of teaching and the progress pupils make,” added a spokesman for the inspection team.

“They act swiftly to challenge and support staff and pupils alike. Consequently, outcomes are steadily improving.”

Hope Academy, which opened in 2011, is jointly sponsored by the Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool, the Church of England Diocese of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University.

St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Jeanette Banks said: “This is a very encouraging report and further underlines the progress that is being made in our secondary schools.

“The Principal and his team have clearly worked hard to turn things around at Hope and we applaud their efforts. The real winners though are the students – who will benefit from the improving outcomes highlighted by the Ofsted inspectors.”