It has been some time since I last wrote a blog of events and life as the Headteacher at Redcar Academy. This term has been particularly busy. As a school which has been judged ‘Requires Improvement’ by Ofsted, we have specific targets to achieve. Our main area to improve is to enable more of our students to achieve 3 or 4 levels of progress, or more. To achieve this we need to assess the progress of our students accurately and report on a regular basis to our students, parents, directors and Her Majesties Inspectors (HMI).
We have increased the number of times in an academic year when we report on progress so we can keep all of our stakeholders informed. This has meant putting systems in place for the staff and students, but also putting monitoring in place to check the accuracy of our data. I’m impressed with the way staff have made changes since our Ofsted last June and their determination to make more of a difference with our students. For myself, more of my time is taken up with the monitoring and asking questions to make sure we are on track to move closer to a ‘Good’ judgement next time.
Ofsted inspections are a way of life in schools today. When I first started teaching, over 30 years ago, they did not exist. A school might have an HMI visit but nothing like the stress and rigour of the inspections today. I’m not against inspections or the monitoring of school progress, but there may be better, more supportive ways to help schools stay on track. An interesting report has been released this week from Watching the Watchman: The future of school inspections in England. There are a number of recommendations for change; we might see some of them coming through in the future- who knows?
This term, so far I’ve celebrated exceptional success with many of our students through my Headteacher’s lunch, celebration assemblies and well-attended parents evenings. We’ve also had students represent us at Twickenham, the House of Commons and Social Enterprise in numerous sporting events and tournaments. They’ve also represented their Academy on work experience placements, organising tournaments for our primary schools and raising money for good causes. There’s a lot to be proud of here at Redcar Academy.
Principal: Mrs Angela Sweeten
Redcar Academy, Kirkleatham Lane, Redcar, TS10 4AB
Tel: 01642 289211 •
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