Ofsted Praise Improvements Made at Noel-Baker Academy

1st February 2019


A recent Ofsted monitoring inspection has concluded that Noel-Baker Academy is demonstrating significant change with increased attendances, effective safeguarding processes, instrumental improvements in leadership and an active involvement of parents throughout.

The December 2018 Ofsted report cited that ‘significant change’ has taken place across the

academy and that leaders continue to implement effective action towards securing further improvements. Amongst the strengths highlighted was a clear increase in attendance and an improved focus on safeguarding. It was also acknowledged that these positive trends are as a result of collaboration between the headteacher, senior leaders and L.E.A.D. Academy Trust.

The recent appointment of new Headteacher, Ann Donaghy, and her commitment to success

has “been instrumental in bringing about significant change within the school.” In particular, the inspection team were encouraged with the high aspirations that Ms. Donaghy holds for pupils and the high expectations applied to all staff. In response to the monitoring visit, Ms. Donaghy commented; “I feel that this report reflects the hard work, dedication and attitude of the students, staff, parents and wider community of Noel-Baker Academy – we have united to create sustainable change for all. We acknowledge that we are at the beginning of our journey and realise that we still have a long way to go, but I would like to thank everyone for their support in securing these improvements. We continue to build an academy that we are all incredibly proud to be a part of.”

The improvement in safeguarding is outlined as a critical strength and has been achieved through an enrichment of the curriculum with opportunities for students to understand the importance of, and methods behind, staying safe. In particular, the report highlights how;

“leaders have introduced a daily PSHE tutor session and have ensured that all pupils and students receive teaching related to their well-being, keeping safe and raising awareness of risks in different situations. This supports the school’s positive approach to safeguarding.”

An active involvement of parent voice has helped to create a positive movement from many within the academy community. Creating a structured platform and opportunity for parents to contribute towards the vision of Noel-Baker has strengthened relationships and helps to

drive further change. The report outlines how “the headteacher has worked to build positive relationships with parents. She has met…to address their many concerns and share plans for improvement. She has established a new parent forum which meets regularly to openly share views and concerns. The forum enables senior leaders to understand parental fears and helps parents understand the headteacher’s drive for improvement.” One parent commented; “We have seen lots of changes made and they have all been for the better. I have two children at

the academy and they are both significantly happier and now enthused with their learning. Thank you to M

s. Donaghy and her staff for making this happen.”

The partnership between Noel-Baker Academy and its sponsor L.E.A.D. Academy Trust, has resulted in the creation of a robust strategy to secure and maintain further school

improvement. The visit acknowledged that; “trust leaders have provided school leadership support focused on increasing the capacity for improvement, strategic planning and monitoring school improvement.” The trust has proactively supported the academy through subject leader coaching, regular monitoring activities and meetings, undertaken to quality assure the accuracy of information provided.


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The headteacher has been instrumental in bringing about significant change within the school. She has high aspirations for pupils, and high expectations of all staff. The headteacher is fully committed to the school and the success of its pupils.

Senior leaders have a good understanding of the school’s strengths and areas needing

significant improvement. They have written detailed improvement plans, which are reviewed regularly and amended accordingly

The headteacher has identified four key areas on which to base the school’s improvement: establish good order, regain confidence, established lines of accountability and ensure that safeguarding is effective. These underpin all aspects of the school’s improvement work. Staff understand these priorities and know what they should be doing to bring about much-needed improvement. Collectively the staff are working to improve the school.

There is currently a strong and effective culture of keeping pupils safe.

Leaders provide opportunities for teachers to share stronger teaching practice through regular training and teacher coaching sessions. Teachers value these opportunities. Those who met with inspectors commented on the clarity of expectations and improved behaviour systems that enable teachers to be more effective in their classrooms.

Attendance and punctuality have improved since the last inspection. This also includes attendance of students in the sixth form. Leaders have restructured the school day and regularly reinforce raised attendance expectations.

Since the last inspection, trust leaders have provided school leadership support focused on increasing the capacity for improvement, strategic planning and monitoring school improvement. These include three educational consultants providing senior leadership professional development and coaching. Specialist leaders of education and subject consultants work to improve subject leadership.


L.E.A.D. Academy Trust is a dynamic and pioneering organisation, comprising of twenty one academies across Nottingham, Leicester, Derby and Sheffield. Our philosophy is to; lead, empower, achieve and drive.

At the heart of our Trust is the development of outstanding leaders. We empower individuals in our schools to provide the highest quality education, enabling every pupil to realise their full potential. We have also been recognised by Ofsted as a leading academy sponsor, securing rapid and sustainable improvement through the research and application of best practice across operational areas.

The combination of autonomy and collaboration across key areas of leadership and management underpinned by shared vision, values and best practice positions L.E.A.D. as a truly unique Academy Trust.

WEB: www.leadacademytrust.co.uk




(07825 917 480 / ross@engaging-education.org.uk)