Academy head ‘proud’ as improvements recognised

Students at BBG Academy celebrate after their recent Ofsted inspection.
Students at BBG Academy celebrate after their recent Ofsted inspection.
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The head of an academy which has turned around its fortunes has spoken of his pride at the secondary school being taken out of special measures.

The BBG Academy in Birkenshaw was graded ‘good’ in its latest Ofsted inspection, less than 18 months after it was deemed ‘inadequate’ in October 2014.

Jason Kenneally, head of the school, which became part of the Rodillian Multi-Academy Trust in December 2014, said the turnaround had been a “collective success”.

He said: “The success of this Ofsted report is down to the leadership of the academy, which has in part been provided by the trust, the hard work and aspiration of teaching staff and the aspiration and buy in from the students and the community.”

Mr Kenneally said the trust had helped the school to create “an environment where teachers are able to teach and learners are able to learn”.

He said: “We believe that good behaviour is vital.

“Those students who are getting it right are rewarded and recognised but those who are not conducting themselves in the appropriate way are sanctioned.

“Children are given the opportunity to reflect on their mistakes and move on.

“We trust our teachers and we don’t believe in reems of bureaucracy.

“We give our staff the freedom to teach and support them to be the very best they can be.”

Ofsted inspectors, who visited the academy in March, said teaching had improved, students’ behaviour was good and senior leaders were ‘highly ambitious for pupils’.

Their report read: “Pupils, including the most able and those who are disadvantaged, are making good progress across all subjects.

“This is as a result of effective teaching and the careful tracking of pupil performance.”

Mr Kenneally, who became head of the school in February, said: “The fact that every student, regardless of their starting point, is making progress is what I am most proud of because a good education is going to be transformational for these pupils.

“That is why I became a head teacher, to help children have better life chances.”

The academy no longer has to undergo frequent ‘monitoring inspections’ and instead will have a regular Ofsted visit every three years.

Mr Kenneally said the next goal for the school, on Bradford Road, was to progress to be awarded an ‘outstanding’ status.

He said: “Going from special measures to good is a rare achievement and one we are very proud of.

“But we never stand still and what we want is to be recognised as an outstanding school, not just by Ofsted but by the wider community.

“We are continuing with what has made us successful so far .

“But we will reflect on our practices and look at how we can further improve the education of our students.”