Doncaster school dubbed 'inadequate' by Ofsted is removed from special measures

A Doncaster school dubbed ‘inadequate’ by education watchdog has been removed from special measures after a string of improvements.

By Darren Burke
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 12:23 pm

Atlas Academy is under new leadership and is making progress, according to the latest inspection report.

The newly appointed leaders have been praised by Ofsted for taking the “right steps” to make improvements and strengthening the quality of education that pupils at the Prospect Place school receive.

The school’s Ofsted rating has improved from ‘inadequate’ in 2017, prior to joining Astrea Academy Trust in the same year, to ‘requires improvement’, bringing the school out of what was formally known as ‘special measures’, and marking the significant progress the school has made since then.

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Atlas Academy has been praised for its diversity programmes.

Despite the challenges of the last two years, inspectors highlighted an increasingly positive picture of pupils' behaviour and attendance, curriculum planning and leadership across the school.

The school said that Ofsted is clear that there is ‘consistent evidence’ that leaders' actions are bringing about change, a team including the current interim principal Mr Jan van Wyk. The new Principal will be announced shortly and will join Atlas in September 2022.

The report celebrates the many successes that leaders and staff have achieved, including:

Creating a truly inclusive school, where pupils feel safe and have teachers who are kind and take the time to speak to them if they are worried.

Developing a new curriculum which is helping pupils to learn to read quickly.

Focusing on developing pupils' character and providing a rich set of wider experiences, like becoming equality and diversity ambassadors or playground buddies.

Strengthening support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Implementing a new behaviour policy, with most pupils now behaving well in lessons.

This term Atlas Academy will also receive additional improvement funding from Doncaster Council to support its ongoing teacher training and development.

Mr van Wyk said: “This judgement marks the huge progress that everyone at Atlas Academy has made since the previous inspection in 2017. I am delighted that the report recognises and celebrates the many successes that our school community has achieved, which were clearly observed during the inspection.

“The report represents a school that is making clear progress and highlights the areas of development that have already been identified by leaders to allow us to continue our rapid improvements. I welcome our whole school community to join us on our journey to making Atlas a brilliant school for every pupil.”

Rowena Hackwood, CEO of Astrea Academy Trust, said: “I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised the significant progress that the leadership team, and staff at Atlas have made in ensuring that every Astrea pupil there receives the brilliant education they deserve.

“It is clear to me that Atlas has benefitted from the support and capacity that a strong trust like Astrea can bring to a school’s improvement journey, and I thank everyone involved for their commitment to improving the education of every pupil at Atlas.”

The school is part of the Astrea Academy Trust which runs a number of schools across Yorkshire.