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In a huge boost for the school and the area, Ofsted inspectors have taken The Littlehampton Academy out of special measures

The latest Ofsted report for the academy confirms that Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector ‘is of the opinion that the school no longer requires special measures’, in accordance with the section 13(4) of the Education Act 2005.

In 2013, the academy’s overall effectiveness was rated by Ofsted as ‘inadequate’ and now, while it still ‘requires improvement’, inspectors were keen to highlight the positive steps taken, including those since Acting Principal, Morgan Thomas, took up his role.

The report states: “Leadership moved into a higher gear in January following the appointment of the Acting Principal. He immediately strengthened the senior leadership team, began to rapidly improve teaching and took steps to restore parents’ and staff’s confidence.”

Students’ efforts at the academy were also highlighted in the report: “Pupils behave sensibly around the school and are polite. They feel safe and secure. Sixth formers are good role models for them. With stronger teaching than in the main school, sixth form learners study well, make good progress and are well prepared for their future lives.”

Mr Thomas said: “This is excellent news for the community and is testament to the huge amount of hard work that has been put into TLA by staff, students and parents over the last two years. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to parents for their support in this difficult period, and to congratulate students and colleagues for their determination and resilience.

The inspectors’ report also highlights areas for the academy to focus on in order to improve further. It states that in order to improve achievement, pupils’ progress must be accelerated further, especially in science and maths; the academy must address the gap between girls’ and boys’ progress in science and maths during Key Stage 4 and the gap between gap between disadvantaged pupils’ achievement and others’ needs to be reduced further.

The report goes on to say that to strengthen the effectiveness of teaching and learning, the academy must share the good practice that exists in several subjects; ensure that the school’s behaviour policy is followed so that pupils, particularly in year nine, have the right attitudes to learning; focus more support on those teachers whose lessons do not consistently generate good learning and improve the effectiveness of teachers’ feedback so all pupils know what to do to improve their work.

Mr Thomas said he and his colleagues were ‘more determined than ever’ to ensure further improvements were now made. “The removal of special measures is very welcome, and it allows us to begin work in earnest on the next phase of our journey to being an excellent school,” he added.

Paul Kennedy, Chief Education Officer of the Woodard Academies Trust, which runs the academy, said: “The whole Trust is delighted with the rapid progress made at The Littlehampton Academy and the Ofsted report is an external validation of the wonderful work done by the staff and young people at the Academy. This is a huge step forward and we will all continue to work together to ensure the great progress continues.”

Chair of The Littlehampton Academy Council, Christopher Honeyman Brown comments: “The conclusion of this rigorous Ofsted Inspection, that the academy can be removed from special measures, is very good news. Our task now is to drive the further improvements we must make to ensure that the Academy delivers the highest quality of education to the Littlehampton community. I am extremely grateful to Morgan Thomas and all his colleagues – they have worked tirelessly to achieve this result.”