February 4, 2020
Northern Education Trust Red House Academy has improved rapidly, Ofsted inspectors found during their inspection on 14 and 15 January 2020. Previously rated inadequate, inspectors judged the school to be good in all areas and said that “Leaders have done an excellent job of raising everyone’s expectations. Students and staff can all feel the difference. Leaders have instilled a new sense of pride in the school, appointed new teachers, broadened the range of subjects available and transformed behavior.”
Older students at the academy are now getting lots of extra help as they prepare for GCSE exams, with teachers going the extra mile to support them with their studies. Sharply focused teaching is helping all students to grow in confidence, and inspectors recognised their raised aspirations, with many saying they wanted to go to sixth form and university.
Inspectors also recognised the improvements in curriculum and added that “Leaders have successfully recruited the teachers they needed. Teachers are well organised. They know what knowledge they need to teach. They work together to prepare interesting lessons.”
Students’ behaviour and attitudes were judged to be good and inspectors were pleased to see that “the vast majority of pupils behave well. This is because the staff and pupils are respectful of one another.
Pupils applaud each other in lessons. The staff have created a positive culture in which it is OK to try hard. The culture in the classrooms is much improved. Teachers give lots of praise. Students are keen to take part, and are encouraged to work in groups, discuss ideas and develop solutions. Students who struggle to behave are supported appropriately, with many improving their attitude.”
Safeguarding arrangements were found to be effective, with leaders systematically identifying and checking on vulnerable students, the Designated Safeguarding Leader knowing these students well, and inspectors noting that parents have much more confidence in the support given to students who may be struggling.
Hijab Zaheer, who became Principal in October 2019, said: “We are delighted that Ofsted now deem this a good school in all areas. The children at this academy are talented, articulate and very intelligent and we believe they can go on and achieve great things. We are a dedicated and determined set of staff who work tirelessly for our students. The academy has a lovely, calm and caring feel and the acknowledgement that what we are doing is right for our children is pleasing. However, as ever, our main focus remains on continually improving and wanting to do even better so that all our students can fulfil their potential.”
Michael Robson, Executive Principal, said: “The Trust has done a tremendous job to transform Red House Academy. The rise in Ofsted rating is phenomenal and not something that is often repeated around the country. The Trust and our staff were always utterly convinced that the children here are terrific young people and that they deserved the very best education we could give them. We are all ecstatic that the hard work of students and staff has now been recognised. Our students’ life chances are rapidly improving and, impressively, Red House Academy was ranked as the 11th most improved school in England for the period 2017-2019 in terms of the proportion of students passing both English and maths. This is testament to the impact of the school improvement model, the changing attitudes of the students, and their enthusiasm for knowledge and learning.”