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The Dukeries Academy celebrates a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating – the first in its 50 year history

The Dukeries Academy is celebrating after receiving a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating in all areas, following an inspection in October 2016. Part of the Academy Transformation Trust (ATT) family of academies, this is the first time in the school’s 50 year history that it has achieved a ‘Good’ Ofsted grade.

Inspectors particularly praised the work of Principal Ian Barton, stating that the “excellent leadership has led to rapid and significant improvement” whilst also noting that his senior leadership team have created a “culture of high aspirations” throughout the academy.

The quality of teaching is said to have improved considerably and is now at least ‘Good’ throughout the school, coinciding with much greater expectations of what pupils can and should achieve.  This has resulted in pupils making good progress, shown through the school achieving its best GCSE results ever this summer.

Inspectors also commented upon students’ positive attitudes towards their learning, shown through an improvement in behaviour, which is now ‘Good’; an increase in attendance figures, and students’ noticeable enjoyment and engagement in their lessons. Inspectors noted how well the school is maintained and that “around the school and in lessons, pupils’ conduct is good” as a result of a clear rewards system which students said they appreciated.

Inspectors complimented the curriculum, stating that it is “balanced and personalised to meet pupils’ needs well” and that options pathways are structured to ensure that all pupils succeed.  

But this also extended beyond the classroom, with inspectors noting that extra-curricular activities on offer, including learning opportunities provided by the ‘Innovation Room’; The Duke of Edinburgh scheme; the recent trip to the Peruvian Andes and the Combined Cadet Forces, all developed students’ skills, interests and confidence.

Provision for pupils in the sixth form was also rated as Good with “more students achieving high grades” than ever before, resulting in “an increased proportion going onto university and into apprenticeships in 2016 than in previous years.”

The report complimented the work of ATT as “being instrumental in the rate of improvement the school has made by providing effective support and challenge”, which has also been supported by the rigorous challenge put forward by the Local Governing Body.

Inspectors went on to note the positive comments from parents, with one stating: “I have seen a vast improvement over the last few years; I am very happy I chose for both of my children to attend The Dukeries”.

Principal Ian Barton said: “This report really does confirm all the hard work that both students and staff have put in to making this a ‘Good’ school, and we are delighted that Ofsted have recognised this.  On the back of this summer’s successful results, which saw the academy strengthen its position in the Nottinghamshire league tables, this is a very exciting time to be a student at The Dukeries Academy. We, as staff, will use this report as a springboard to ensure that we keep getting better and better”.

Lisa Crausby, Principal Improvement Director of Academy Transformation Trust commented: “We are very proud that inspectors have judged The Dukeries as a Good academy particularly that this is the first time in the school’s history.

“This is testament to the relentless hard work of all leaders, teachers, governors and pupils in making this happen. We are confident that the academy is now very well placed to become Outstanding.”

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