Joy for Doncaster school following ‘good’ Ofsted judgement

A Doncaster primary school is celebrating its first ‘good’ judgement since converting to an academy.
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Castle Academy, in Conisborough, had previously been recognised as ‘inadequate’ before joining the Astrea Academy Trust in June 2016.

However, in a turnaround for the school, Ofsted inspectors have noted ‘substantial improvements’ in the ethos and culture at Castle Academy.

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They found the new principal, Ann-Marie Mason and assistant headteacher, Claire Blagden to be ‘inspirational leaders’ and praised them for both inspiring staff and making rapid improvements which have improved the quality of teaching.

Pupils at Castle Academy in ConisboroughPupils at Castle Academy in Conisborough
Pupils at Castle Academy in Conisborough

In the report, pupils’ behaviour and welfare is said to have ‘significantly improved’ and the school is said to be a ‘calmer and more productive learning environment’ as a result.

Inspectors said teaching in Early Years and Key Stage 1 is ‘strong’ and there is said to be a ‘high degree of consistency’ in the way reading, writing and maths is taught.

They also highlighted the ‘strong support’ given to disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

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However, although decreasing, there is still a significant number of disadvantaged pupils who miss school too often.

Mrs Mason said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be judged as ‘good’ by Ofsted. It is a true testament to all the hard work and commitment of all our staff and pupils.

“It is wonderful that all our staff say they are proud to work here, and I am honoured to work with them. Hearing that our pupils want to make the school a better place is what it’s all about for me.”

Libby Nicholas, Chief Executive of Astrea Academy Trust said: “Turning around a school around is no easy task – it is a phenomenal achievement to go from being recognised as ‘inadequate’ before joining Astrea to ‘good’.

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“Most importantly though, these significant improvements mean that our promise to provide an education that inspires beyond measure is coming true for Castle Academy pupils.

“The Ofsted judgement marks an important further step towards that – huge congratulations to Ann-Marie Mason and her inspirational team for all of their hard work and determination.”