Linden Road Academy in Tameside, which is part of the Enquire Learning Trust (ELT), has been judged a good school by Ofsted, following its first inspection since becoming an academy.
The school became an academy three years ago. As Linden Road Primary, the school had struggled for several years with judgments of ‘requires improvement’ and at one stage, ‘special measures’, which makes its latest judgment very welcome news indeed for principal, Andrea Ives.
Ofsted inspectors said that ‘leaders, including governors, have provided a good standard of education for pupils since the school became an academy in 2015’ and noted that ‘pupils’ attainment at the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics is consistently at or above national averages by the end of key stages 1 and 2’.
The report went on to say that ‘Disadvantaged pupils make good progress. Staff cater for their needs well’ and ‘Pupils behave sensibly, cooperate with one another maturely and relish learning in lessons. Teaching is consistently good across the school and teachers take every opportunity to hone their skills and improve their practice’.
Linden Road Academy’s leadership team and teaching staff have worked hard in three key areas to secure the improvements needed to get the school to where it is today, as Fran Bradshaw and Peter Greaves, explained, the vice principals who led the inspection.
Fran said: “Being part of ELT has given the school and staff a tremendous boost. Teaching staff benefit from a strong, continuing professional development programme whilst our children have access to a wide range of educational opportunity within an extremely positive learning environment and discover not only the joy of learning, but also develop enquiring minds. By supporting our teachers to be great, in turn, they have supported our children to be great.”
Peter said: “We believe in giving students and staff opportunities to be proud – encouraging them to take pride in their work, their learning and themselves. As a trust, we are committed to ensuring that each child achieves above the national average and place a lot of importance on making the teaching and learning environment as attractive as possible – if we can give our children great classrooms to learn in and a school which they enjoy attending, a strong set of results will follow.”
Ms Ives added: “We have made a great start. Now we are at the top end of good, but as always there is still work to be done to make us into an outstanding school. We are already working on this through our academy improvement plan focusing on the higher need children and those who are middle attainers, finding ways to push them further. We will also be working more closely with parents and the community to provide a more rounded PSHE programme for all our children.”
Darren Holmes, ELT’s Chief Executive commented: “Ms Ives and her team continue to work extremely hard on the Linden Road Academy’s improvement journey and are to be congratulated for this result, which is great news, given the school’s past difficulties.
“When we welcome a new school to the trust, we put a team of highly skilled and committed professionals at its disposal who can facilitate rapid improvement through a collaborative approach to learning and innovating. In this way, we can ensure that all our schools are always moving towards achieving excellent outcomes and our children become excited by and engaged in learning new things.
“We are looking forward to continuing to work in this collaborative way with Linden Road Academy on its journey to outstanding.”
ELT, established in 2012, is one of the largest primary only academy trusts in England, currently with 26 academies which operate from three hubs in Tees and Esk Valley and North Yorkshire, The Humber and Manchester. With a commitment to ensuring that every child is a successful learner, no matter what, ELT has earned a national reputation for its outstanding contribution to raising standards and improving outcomes for its children.