Doncaster school is ‘good’ and excluding fewer pupils, says report

A Doncaster school has been praised for reducing the number of pupils and rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted.

The rating is the first for Outwood Academy Danum since it opened in its current format, having previously been Danum School.

Celebrating their GCSE results with Principal Jayne Gaunt are l-r Lucy Kennedy, 16, of Wheatley, who will be studying A Levels at Outwood Academy Danum, Grace Kemp, 16, of Armthorpe, who will being heading to New College to study A Levels and Kaitlyn Willey, 16, of Intake, who has gained a Hairdressing Apprenticeship. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-23-08-18-GCSEDanum-1

Celebrating their GCSE results with Principal Jayne Gaunt are l-r Lucy Kennedy, 16, of Wheatley, who will be studying A Levels at Outwood Academy Danum, Grace Kemp, 16, of Armthorpe, who will being heading to New College to study A Levels and Kaitlyn Willey, 16, of Intake, who has gained a Hairdressing Apprenticeship. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-23-08-18-GCSEDanum-1

The school was inspected in November 2018, and inspectors highlighted the progress of disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs or disabilities which have ‘improved substantially.’

The Armthorpe Road based Academy was also praised by the Ofsted inspectors for halving the number of pupils excluded for a fixed term, compared with the previous year.

The report said the effectiveness of leaders, governors and the trust was good, and they had implemented strategies that had significantly improved the quality of education pupils receive. The school was improving quickly and securely and was well served by capable and committed staff.

It said pupils start at the school with  usually below average grades. but by the time they leave, their attainment is above national averages in a range of subjects.

The effectiveness of the sixth form was  good as was the he promotion of pupils’ personal development and welfare

The findings of the Ofsted inspectors were recently follow league tables announced in February this year that ranked the Academy second in Doncaster, using the Progress Eight rating.

However within the Ofsted report, it was noted that the Academy could still improve in the personal development, behaviour and welfare of students.

The report said the school must become more effective in managing and moderating pupils’ behaviour, so that the need to exclude reduces even further. Pupils’ attendance remains stubbornly below the national average, it added and the rate of persistent absence was much higher than average. There was an urgent need to improve this situation, as the negative impact of poor attendance on pupils’ learning and progress is well documented.

Jayne Gaunt, principal of the academy, said: “We welcome the Ofsted inspectors’ findings and are delighted they agree that we are a good school.

“We aim to be an inclusive school, and we want to ensure no pupil feels they don’t have the support or tools they need to succeed and fulfil their potential. We believe this is the best way to prepare our students for life after education.”

Mrs Gaunt added: “We know we have some distance to go, but we believe we are on a journey to becoming an ‘Outstanding’ school and I, along with the whole of the staff at the Academy, am enthusiastic about this journey.

“We will continue to put pupils first, and support them with their learning and education.”