Ofsted rates academy as ‘good’

Pleased ' Outwood Academy Ripon principal Barry Found with chairman of governors Annette Beckwith. (NARG1106233)
Pleased ' Outwood Academy Ripon principal Barry Found with chairman of governors Annette Beckwith. (NARG1106233)

Outwood Academy Ripon is celebrating after school inspectors gave it the seal of approval.

The two-day Ofsted inspection took place at the end of March and the education watchdog has just revealed the secondary school was scored ‘good’ in every assesment catergory and for its overall grade – a marked improvement on the last inspection in October 2008 which assessed the then-Ripon College as ‘satisfactory’.

Academy principal Barry Found said: “We are so pleased the inspection team has recognised the real strengths of our academy and that we have notably moved from satisfactory to good.

“We have known for some years now that this is a good school and that we provide a high standard of education for students.”

Using new and more demanding criteria – which includes the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, and leadership and management – the Ofsted report reinforced the commitment of teachers and students with a number of positive comments including “the quality of teaching is improving apace, and is good with examples of outstanding practice”.

The report highlighted further attributes including “students enjoy learning” and “students engage well with their learning overall and are keen to improve their work”.

The inpectors said teaching and student learning could be further improved by reducing the amount of teacher-talk and direction during lessons, giving students more time to find things out for themselves, and enhancing current strategies to ensure activities in lessons meet the learning needs of all pupils even more closely.

The Ofsted inspection was the first for the school since it left local authority control to become an academy sponsored by the Wakefield-based Outwood Grange Academy Trust family of schools in September last year.

Mr Found said: “We are first and foremost a community school which serves Ripon and the surrounding rural district in every respect. I genuinely hope parents will continue to support Outwood Academy Ripon as the two secondary schools in the city continue to work together to provide a top quality education for our young people.”

The school was also praised for its Ofsted rating by Michael Wilkins, chief executive and academy principal of the Outwood Grange Academy Trust.

He said: “The recent Ofsted report for Outwood Academy Ripon is an impressive example of how we all work together to achieve the very best.

“I would like to say a huge well done to the students and staff from the academy – they can be proud that they have played an integral part in ensuring that this Ofsted inspection was a real success.”