Principal defends academy’s record against Ofsted criticism

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A St Helens academy has been included on a list of schools criticised for failing to receive a good Ofsted report over the past decade.

The new chief inspector of Ofsted has criticised 135 schools nationwide which have consistently received failing reports from the education watchdog.

But Sutton Academy’s principal Alison Sherman has hit back at the criticism, pointing out that the academy only opened seven years ago.

The Elton Head Road academy was included on the list because it received similar poor ratings when it was known as Sutton Sports College before it gained academy status.

Mrs Sherman said significant changes had been implement during her time at the helm of the academy and predicted it would be judged as a good school at its next inspection.

She added: “I was appointed as principal three years ago and since then The Sutton Academy has been transformed.

“I have developed an outstanding leadership team that has driven forward improvements with pace.

“The 2017 Ofsted report recognises such improvements stating, ‘Leaders and teachers have worked hard and with success to change the ethos and culture of the academy, to raise aspirations and to ensure that students flourish personally, emotionally and academically’.

“In this inspection personal development behaviour and welfare were judged as good, with inspectors noting “ students are courteous, polite, well mannered and considerate. These positive attributes support their learning.

“The academic results of the academy have improved Year on Year since my appointment and improved since the February 2017 inspection.

“Mathematics results have increased from 49 per cent A*- C in 2015 to 59 per cent in 2016 to 69 per cent 9-4 grades in 2017. Similarly English secured 72 per cent 9-4 grades in 2017.

“There were also exceptional results in many other departments for example biology 100 per cent A*-C, physics 100 per cent A*-C, chemistry 100 per cent A*-A, catering 82 per cent A*-C, ICT 88 per cent A*-C and psychology 93 per cent A*-C.

“Overall our outcomes now exceed many schools that have been judged good.

“I am confident that we will be judged as a good school in our next inspection and we can then progress to become outstanding.”