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Improvements Celebrated at Alvaston Moor Academy

We’re really pleased that Ofsted have recently declared Alvaston Moor Academy as “improving” after its predecessor was put in special measures.

This was the first time the school has been visited by Ofsted since joining Archway Learning Trust and opening as Alvaston Moor Academy in September 2021. The previous school on the site, Merrill Academy, was put in Special Measures by Ofsted before Archway took it on.

Academy Principal Michelle Strong said she was proud of the journey the academy had been on since joining the trust which has now been officially recognised by Ofsted.

The report from Ofsted made many positive observations, including:

“Many pupils say that they value the changes that are being introduced, including the rewards system,” and: “Pupils are well supervised. Relationships between pupils and with staff are typically positive. Most pupils say that they feel safe at school. Staff have high expectations of pupils’ conduct.”

Ofsted also praised Alvaston Moor’s “high quality pastoral care” for pupils needing extra support, and the way it celebrates inclusivity. Many measures have been put in place to make every pupil at the school feel included, including representing the cultural heritage of students with a colourful flags display in its interior spaces. The recent introduction of cultural days has also been well received by staff and students at the academy.

Professional support given to teachers by Archway Learning Trust was also singled out for praise. They also praised the time and money invested by the trust to drive forward improvement.

The school has also put in place a comprehensive rewards system for attendance, including taking 200 students with more than 95% attendance on a trip to London in the summer of 2023.

Ofsted also recognised measures that are being put in place to keep the school moving forward, including the appointment of Ann Donaghy as executive principal, who will start her new role in January and will be working to drive further improvements.

Alvaston Moor Academy caters for around 880 students of which 67% are in receipt of the Government’s pupil premium grant, for students who are disadvantaged. This is well above the national figure of around 27% and leaders say it is indicative of some of the many challenges facing this academy.

Mrs Strong said: “We were very pleased to have been recognised as inclusive, and that the school is improving. This “Requires Improvement” judgement shows that the hard work to improve outcomes for students is on an upwards trajectory. It acknowledges that more work needs to be done but that the staff team working with the community and Archway Learning Trust are making progress.”

Sian Hampton, Chief Executive of Archway Learning Trust, said: “We are all so pleased with the news that Alvaston Moor Academy has been acknowledged for all the amazing improvements which have been made since they joined our trust. The academy faces several challenges and to have made such improvements in so short a time is a real testament to the hard work of colleagues both in the school and the trust. Our values are Inclusion, Collaboration and Excellence, and this result really demonstrates how we live those values.”

“With plans in place and a new executive principal joining us in January I know the school will continue to go from strength to strength.”

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