Doncaster school is 'improving' and turning around its fortunes

Associate principal Anna Rooney pictured with pupils Connor Fotherby, 15 and Kelsey Callaway, 12, outside De Warenne Academy

Associate principal Anna Rooney pictured with pupils Connor Fotherby, 15 and Kelsey Callaway, 12, outside De Warenne Academy

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A Doncaster school is taking the right steps to improve its fortunes, inspectors have found.

De Warenne Academy, in Conisbrough, was judged to require improvement when it was visited by inspectors from education watchdog Ofsted in November 2015.

Following a further visit in January, inspectors have found that the school is making the necessary improvement to become a 'good' school.

A letter to associate principal, Anna Rooney, says 'senior leaders and the trust are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified at the last inspection in order to become a good school'.

Since the last inspection there had been a change in leadership at the school, which is sponsored by Delta Academies Trust.

A letter, from inspector Helen Lane, said Ms Rooney's drive and vision has been shared with staff and pupils and, as a result, there are higher expectations at the school.

Learning is better planned to meet the needs of pupils and develop their knowledge, understanding and skills, however there is still some inconsistency in the quality of teaching.

Middle leadership, including leadership in the sixth form, has improved, as has the behaviour of pupils.

The letter added: "The board members have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school. As a result, they are able to ask challenging questions about pupils’ progress and the quality of teaching."

The school was told to make further improvements around attendance, especially for disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs or disabilities.

Improvements must be made to pupils' outcomes in science and numerical success criteria and milestones should be included in plans to help leaders monitor the impact of actions taken to improve the school.

Associate principal, Anna Rooney, welcomed the report and said: "In 2016 students at De Warenne achieved the best ever GCSE and A Level results in the history of the academy and made more progress than those at any other local school.

"We are delighted that this inspection report recognises that since then we have gone on to secure further improvements in teaching and learning and have the capacity to do even better in future.

"This community deserves a high-performing academy, and we are determined to deliver on this”.