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Lees Brook Academy achieves Good Ofsted Rating

We are absolutely delighted to announce that the transformation of Lees Brook Academy in Chaddesden has been recognised by Ofsted inspectors who have now rated the school as Good in all areas and praised it as a ‘caring and inclusive school’.

This is the first time the school has been rated above Requires Improvement in over ten years.

The Good rating covers four judgments, Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development and Leadership and Management, and followed a full section 5 inspection, the first since the school joined Archway Learning Trust.

But under head teacher Mrs Watson, who came into the post just over a year ago, Ofsted inspectors have noted the significant improvements in all areas citing the behaviour of students, positive relationships between staff and pupils and the calm and orderly environment of the school.

Mrs Watson said: “We are absolutely delighted that this report recognises the many strengths of our school and the significant improvements in all aspects of the academy. The report is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff and the engagement of the pupils and their families and carers.”

Inspectors visited the school during the start of the new academic year. The previous inspection was carried out in 2019 when Ofsted concluded improvements were needed, particularly in the areas of students’ behaviour and the quality of education.

Since then, the school has moved under the Archway Learning Trust umbrella, and Mrs Watson was put in post as the new head teacher.

Following Ofsted’s latest two-day visit in September, inspectors concluded the school was now good in every area.

Their report noted improvements in all areas of the academy including behaviour and the quality of teaching, concluding “The school has high expectations of how pupils should behave.  Behaviour has improved, and low-level disruption is rare.”

Inspectors said that pupils feel safe in school and know who they can talk to if they had any concerns.

They also praised the work which had gone into improving the quality of teaching, stating teachers’ subject knowledge was good and they were able to clearly convey new information to students.

The report states: “The school and the trust have worked hard to improve all areas of the curriculum and its delivery. This means pupils now have a stronger curriculum offer.”

Mrs Watson has said “Watching the school, pupils and staff flourish has been such a privilege and I feel extremely fortunate to work in such a wonderful school where our motto of #TEAMLeesBrook permeates through everything that we do.

“This recognition allows us to keep moving forwards as a school and I am incredibly proud of everyone at Lees Brook Academy. We continue with our hard work to sustain the standards and continue to provide the best possible educational experience for the children in our care.”

During the past year, the academy has also made it a priority to include extra-curricular opportunities for students, many of whom were affected by the pandemic and reduced opportunities to go on trips, experience new activities and socialise.

Inspectors noted this, and the report stated: “Pupils have many opportunities to develop their talents and interests. There is a wide range of extra-curricular clubs that many pupils take part in.”

The academy has also introduced trips to the University of Derby for all new Year 7 students, while careers advice and links with employers continued to strengthen.  Inspectors said that these links with employers, colleges and universities were strong and were helping to prepare students well for the next stage of their education.

Other areas highlighted for praise in the report included the provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and the prioritisation of reading, helping those at the early stages of reading become more confident and fluent.

Sian Hampton, Chief Executive of Archway Learning Trust, said: “All of us at Archway Learning Trust are delighted with the news that Lees Brook Academy have achieved a “good” Ofsted rating in all areas. It’s testament to the hard work and dedication of our team both in the school and the trust. It really demonstrates our vision to transform the lives of all through the power of working together, and is a very special moment for the whole community.

“The report highlights that staff are proud to work at the school, and they feel well supported by leaders. This is fantastic to read, especially as our values centre around collaboration, inclusion and excellence.

“A huge congratulations to everyone at Lees Brook Academy.”


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