Agenda item

Outwood Academy Ormesby - Response to Ofsted's Findings

Following Ofsted’s recent inspection, the Scrutiny Panel will receive the Trust's response to Ofsted’s findings, which contains actions planned to secure improvements.


Following a recent inspection, Outwood Academy Ormesby had been judged inadequate by Ofsted. The Trust’s response to Ofsted’s findings had been circulated with the agenda pack for the meeting and the response outlined actions planned to improve the academy’s performance.


The Director of Education and Partnerships advised that when an academy was judged as inadequate, it was standard procedure that the DfE would write to the academy providing a warning that the academy’s funding agreement could be terminated. The document circulated with the agenda pack was the Academy Trust’s response to that letter, which stated that the Trust’s preferred option was to bring about the rapid change needed to remove the academy from its inadequate judgement. It was commented that the Trust had conveyed a preference to submit written evidence to today’s meeting, to illustrate the improvement work that was planned, rather than provide a verbal report.


It was explained that Outwood Academy Ormesby was working closely with the Local Authority and the DfE to improve the academy’s performance. It was added that the Council’s Head of Achievement had been appointed as a member of the Academy Improvement Board.


Members queried whether the school would subsidise the Local Authority for the support it was receiving from officers. The Director of Education and Partnerships advised that the Local Authority was unable to charge for the services and support provided. The Strategic Lead for Inclusion and Specialist Support Service advised, however, that given the high levels of permanent exclusions, the Local Authority had approached the School Management Forum to request additional funding. Subsequently, the forum had agreed to transfer £600,000 from schools to the High Needs Budget to enable the effective delivery of support to those pupils who were at risk of exclusion. In response to a Member’s query, it was explained that the all schools had contributed an equal amount to the High Needs Budget, regardless of their exclusion rates.


A Member made reference to the two parents meetings, which had been held by the Trust, to present the Ofsted inspection outcome and discuss the Action Plan.  The Member challenged the comment made by the Trust in the submitted letter, which stated that positive responses had been received. The Member had attended one of those meetings and conveyed that positive feedback had not been received from parents.


The Head of Access to Education and Alternative Provision advised that as Outwood Academy Ormesby had been judged as inadequate, a HMI Inspector would now be attached to the academy to monitor performance. The academy would also be subject to a series of Ofsted monitoring visits, whereby the academy would be required to demonstrate/illustrate that significant improvements had been made to the academy’s standards and performance.


A Member commented that the academy had been visited by several Members during the last academic year and staff members and pupils had been polite and respectful. Therefore, the Ofsted judgement was somewhat unexpected. It was commented that the way in which the Ofsted report had been written was particularly challenging.


In terms of sanctions, a discussion ensued and Members expressed concern in respect of the high levels of permanent exclusions and suspensions.


A Member commented that it would be beneficial to receive further information and updates on the academy’s improvement journey.


As it had been reported that the school community had suffered from a significant amount of Covid-19 related deaths, a Member raised a query in respect of the support provided to those pupils who had suffered bereavements. The Strategic Lead for Inclusion and Specialist Support Service commented that bereavement support had been delivered by the Educational Psychology Service.


That the information presented to the scrutiny panel be noted and further updates be presented in due course.

Supporting documents: