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Thomas Deacon Education Trust

Ofsted praises improvements at Gladstone Primary Academy

Staff at Gladstone Primary Academy are celebrating the outcome of their first Ofsted inspection since joining the Thomas Deacon Education Trust (TDET) in February 2017.

The academy is one of the first to be inspected under the new Ofsted framework which came into effect in September 2019. Ofsted now categorises the academy’s performance in five key areas – the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and early years provision. 

Ofsted rated the academy as ‘good’ in four out of the five areas, with an overall rating of ‘requires improvement.’ In March 2016, the academy’s predecessor school was placed in ‘Special Measures’ by Ofsted. However, since joining the TDET, the academy has made significant improvements across a wide range of areas, reflected in this latest Ofsted report.

The report from the inspection, which took place in October 2019, stated that: “Gladstone Primary Academy is a welcoming and inclusive school. Pupils come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and speak many different languages. They show respect and understanding towards one another.”

The report added: “The headteacher, governors and trust members have high ambitions for pupils. Leaders have significantly improved pupils’ behaviour and personal development. Pupils have good attitudes to learning.”

Inspectors also praised the opportunities available to pupils: “Children learn happily together. They enjoy the exciting activities provided in the inside and outside learning areas. Children quickly grow in confidence and independence.”

Principal of Gladstone Primary Academy, Simon Martin, said: “We are pleased with the findings of the report, which recognise that we have made significant improvements since Ofsted’s last visit. It is wonderful to see the hard work of our colleagues in the academy and across the Trust celebrated in the report.

“I would like to thank our TDET colleagues and our community for the support they have shown Gladstone Primary Academy so far on our journey. I am excited to see what we can achieve going forward as we continue to improve and build on this success.”

Julie Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Deacon Education Trust, added: “Gladstone Primary Academy has made dramatic improvements since joining us in 2017 and I am delighted that the improvements and high standards we strived for have been reflected in this report.

“At TDET, our ambition is to provide every child in our schools with the best life chances and high aspirations and I am proud to say Gladstone Primary Academy now provides this for its pupils. We look forward to continuing to support the academy to ensure that this progress continues and they receive the overall Good Ofsted rating the community deserves.”

The inspectors also gave the academy some suggestions for improvement. This particularly focused on improving the curriculum in a few subjects, including Geography. However, the report later acknowledged that staff and teachers are addressing these issues. The report states: “Staff have received appropriate training to deliver these new approaches. It is too soon to see the impact these changes are having on improving pupils’ progress and attainment over time.”