Sir Bernard Lovell Academy rated as Good by Ofsted

Sir Bernard Lovell Academy in Oldland Common is celebrating after being upgraded to Good by education watchdog Ofsted.

The inspectors’ report reflects the continuing improvement of the secondary school over recent years. It had been placed in special measures back in 2014 and joined the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust, as Futura Learning Partnership was then called, a year later.

In 2018, a year after Dean Anderson took over as principal, Ofsted removed the school from special measures, recognising that significant progress had been made, but that it still required improvement.

Now following the latest inspection, the hard work of staff, students, parents, carers and the support provided by governors and the Futura Learning Partnership has been recognised.

Mr Anderson said: “We have worked hard as a team to build our reputation in our community, and we are proud of how our students have responded.

“It is important that a community can be proud of its school and from the start we have had the aspiration that SBL will be the school of choice for children that grow up in this area. The increase in student numbers and this successful Ofsted inspection indicates that we are moving in the right direction.”

The two-day Ofsted inspection of the 1,163-pupil school took place in early November and was carried out by a team of four.

Their report included many positive comments about students’ attitudes and behaviour and noted the high and consistent expectations from staff. It said children enjoy coming to school and have strong relationships with staff, which enables them to feel safe and protected.

The report praised the curriculum, and other opportunities, including sports and creative club.  Inspectors said the sixth-form curriculum was well-structured and that students were supported to achieve well.

Inspectors said the next steps, to enable the academy to improve further, should be to help students with special educational needs and disabilities develop literacy skills so they can learn well in all subjects, and to improve personal and social education to prepare students for life in the 21st century.

Andrea Arlidge, chief executive of Futura Learning Partnership, said: “I am delighted that the dedication and hard work of everyone at Sir Bernard Lovell Academy has been rewarded with this excellent report.”

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