Back of the net! Kings Ash scores good rating at last

Torbay Weekly

Paignton's Kings Ash Academy has won its own championship title - a 'Good' rating from government inspectors.

The school has had to operate under the watchful eye of Ofsted since opening in 2010 and having to endure three 'requires improvement' ratings after inspections.

But now after a great all-round team effort of which England manager Gareth Southgate and his Euro 2020 stars would be proud, they have finally turned the corner.

Laura Kies, Head of School at Kings Ash which serves the close-knit community of Foxole, said: "I am so proud of how the children, staff and community have worked together to make the improvements needed to ensure the very best education for children in the Foxhole community.  To have this work formally recognised by Ofsted has been an incredible achievement and I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and dedication.'"

Jessica Humphrey, executive headteacher, said: "I am immensely proud of the relentless hard work that the staff and pupils have made over the last three-and-half  years to get this school the well deserved 'good grading'. Parents have supported us on our journey and can now be proud of our community school.,"

And trustee Wendy Burridge, who has been connected with the school for years and was previously the Chair of Governors added: "This is a great read. The first time I have read a Good Ofsted report, only 19 years of waiting.

"I am so pleased that at last the hard work and determination of all the staff has paid off. I’m sure that when the community knows the results they will be happy with this, and it will make a big difference to all."

Kings Ash is part of the Bay Education Trust which includes Paignton Academy and Curledge Street Academy.

Miss Humphrey, also executive headteacher Curledge Street Academy, took over the school on January 1, 2018.  She brought up one of her senior staff from Curledge Street - head of school Miss Kies in February that year.

The senior team, including three assistant heads and a special needs leader together with a dedicated and able teaching team, worked tirelessly to improve outcomes and ensure that the children were given a high quality education as well as significantly improving the behaviour of the children.

The school had already had two visits by Ofsted this academic year in March and October last year.

The latest Ofsted inspection began on May 7 as a routine monitoring visit as the school had more than one 'requires improvement' judgement.

But during the visit the inspector found that the school's performance appeared to be improving and school's inspection was carried on over a further two days on March 25 and 26 as another two inspectors joined the inspection.

The school was to end up receiving 'Good' for overall effectiveness. It also received good for all the other judgments; quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and Early Years.

The lead inspector noted the following particularly;

* Pupils receive a good quality education,

* Pupils' physical development and keeping fit and healthy are prioritised right from the start.

* Pupils feel safe and adults care for them well.

* Pupils behave well and attend regularly.

* Pupils do very well in mathematics and enjoy it.

* Pupils experience success and gain the knowledge they need to become confident readers.

* In Nursery the carefully crafted curriculum is very effective in helping the youngest children learn and develop.

In relation to staff the main points were:

* Teachers notice when pupils try hard.  They praise pupils for their achievements.

* Leaders are determined to serve the local community well.

* The executive headteacher has built a strong and effective team.

* All staff focus sharply on getting pupils reading.

* Pupils get timely support to overcome any difficulties they have.

* Teachers support pupils' personal development well.

* Trust leaders have a firm grasp of the school's strengths and weaknesses.