Dorcan Academy praised by inspectors

Swindon Advertiser: Dorcan Academy has improved after advice set out by Ofsted. Pictured is head Dr Scott Sissons and head girl and boy Jospeh Killick and Tatenda Moyo Dorcan Academy has improved after advice set out by Ofsted. Pictured is head Dr Scott Sissons and head girl and boy Jospeh Killick and Tatenda Moyo

HUGE strides have been taken in achieving the improvement Ofsted told Dorcan Academy it required last November.

The education watchdog informed the school it required improvement in three of four areas evaluated, with the behaviour and safety of pupils rated as good.

Now, in a report published on Monday following a January 27 monitoring inspection, the school has been given a promising verdict on the way it has made changes.

Writing to headteacher Dr Scott Sissons, her majesty’s inspector Simon Rowe said: “You have made a very good start in addressing the areas for improvement identified at your recent inspection.

“The main focus is, rightly, on continuing to develop the quality of teaching at the academy.

“Expectations on what students are able to achieve have been raised significantly and there is a clear focus on ensuring leaders with responsibilities for subjects, heads of faculty, take responsibility for the quality of teaching and learning within their departments.

“There is a renewed focus on strengthening the quality of planning and marking.

“Some teachers are accessing support from an external consultant to develop their teaching from good to outstanding. These teachers are also being used to work alongside colleagues whose teaching is deemed to be requiring improvement.

“There are raised expectations on students taking more responsibility for their learning.

“The process for collecting student progress data is comprehensive. This is used effectively to ensure any students at risk of underachievement are identified quickly and extra support is put in place.

“Your current predictions indicate that the progress students are making is beginning to accelerate.”

In response to the positive news, Dr Sissons drew attention to the fact it was not an inspector who had conducted the initial inspection last November, and the results of that report did not truly reflect the state of the school.

He also said the changes made since the Ofsted inspection were the tightening up of existing processes in order to improve the final few per cent which had not been performing.

“Some of the things that were in the report were not as fair a reflection of where the school was at,” he said. “We are tightening up with a lot of confidence that standards have improved and are a lot better than were reflected.”

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