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Dudley Academies Trust pledges to turnaround Holly Hall Academy following Ofsted findings

Feb 07 2018

Following the publication of an Ofsted report which identifies the overall effectiveness of Holly Hall Academy has “inadequate” the newly formed Dudley Academies Trust (DAT) has committed to accelerating the pace of progress in the school and improving the outcomes for learners. The Trust which took over responsibility for the school in September 2017 was recognised by Ofsted as a source of positive change. The official report praises The Trust commenting: “The newly formed trust has swiftly gained an accurate view of the quality of education in the school. They have acted quickly and there are signs of standards improving.” Inspectors observed that the newly formed board of trustees had “taken swift action to improve outcomes for pupils.” In particular they had seen evidence of the trust making sure resources were available such as the provision of additional support for English and mathematics teaching and the delivery of a bespoke training programme for the school’s leaders.

Whilst the Ofsted report found that the school was: “performing significantly less well” than it might reasonably be expected to perform; several areas were highlighted as providing a solid basis from which the school could advance. The arrangements for safeguarding were found to be “effective” and the personal, health and social health curriculum was found to have a: “strong positive impact on pupils’ knowledge in this area.” The many opportunities the school provides for pupils to develop leadership skills were also identified for praise.

Commenting on the report Jo Higgins The Trust’s Chief Executive Officer said:

“Whilst we are disappointed by the outcome of the inspection, we believe The Trust has already made a significant difference to the school. Ofsted themselves acknowledged this, but in the short time frame they were bound to find it was too early to see the impact of changes on learner outcomes. We have a clear vision for the school and a mandate to address the legacy of underachievement. The forthcoming publication of our Strategic Plan will lay out in detail, exactly how we will move forward to improve the educational achievement of our learners.”

Recently appointed Interim Headteacher Andy Landers who took over following the departure of Rob Hatch who was Headteacher at the time of the inspection said: “We have a big agenda to address but I feel confident that with the ongoing support of our sponsor: Dudley College of Technology, we have the skills and abilities amongst our staff to accelerate the rate of progress in the school. I’m very much looking forward to working with pupils, parents and staff to drive change in our school.”

Dudley Academies Trust consist of four schools: Castle High School, Hillcrest School and Community College, High Arcal School and Holly Hall Academy. Holly Hall Academy is the first school to be subject to an Ofsted inspection since The Trust was created.

The full Ofsted report can be read here.

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