Heath Lane Academy in Earl Shilton has been praised by Ofsted in its latest inspection report for the progress the school has made in improving pupils’ behaviour and the quality of teaching.
The report, following the first inspection of the new Heath Lane Academy since it opened in 2016, has graded the school as ‘Good’ overall. It endorses the actions of the principal, Megan Morris, in raising expectations at the school, citing the ‘swift and decisive action’ she has taken to address the progress and achievement of pupils.
Ofsted reports that senior leaders, supported by an effective multi-academy trust board, have worked with professionals from the other schools within its group and carried out a rigorous review of the curriculum.
Health Lane Academy has implemented high quality training for its staff with the effect that pupils have quickly become secure in their knowledge and understanding across the full range of subjects they study.
It was also reported that teaching at the school has significantly improved. Senior leaders and subject leaders regularly visit lessons to check on the quality of teaching and the effectiveness with which the curriculum is taught. Ofsted highlighted the strengthening of the curriculum and praised the way the school has given 'careful thought to how pupils build up knowledge over time.'
Thanks to these improvements, pupils currently studying towards their GCSEs are attaining more highly than before, and Year 7 and 8 pupils are also making good progress. Well-targeted support and good teaching in the sixth form enable students to achieve well and move on successfully to their next steps.
Ofsted also reported that attendance and the standard of behaviour in the school had improved.
Megan Morris, Principal of Heath Lane Academy said, “We are delighted with the outcome of the recent inspection by Ofsted and its report provides fitting recognition of the considerable progress we have made in improving the quality of teaching and standards of behaviour in school.
“The report properly reflects the effort and ambition of our pupils, the hard work of our staff and the support of our trustees. It is an important document that we will use to address even greater progress in the future. Ofsted’s judgements have provided us with a clear agenda to follow and we have already started to address its recommendations.
“Work is in place to ensure that all pupils, including those of average ability, make consistently good progress in all subjects, including mathematics and science. The school is also working on strategies to help improve the attendance of disadvantaged pupils.”
Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust said, “The trustee board welcomes this recognition of the significant progress that the school has made under the leadership of Megan Morris. Ofsted has recognised the hard work and determination of the whole team in improving standards at the school and we are sure that with this endorsement, Heath Lane Academy will go from strength to strength.”
The Midland Academies Trust has four secondary schools in the area: Heath Lane Academy, Hartshill School, George Eliot School and Nuneaton Academy. Heath Lane Academy is the first to be inspected since the Trust introduced its new knowledge-rich, five-year curriculum, combined with new and higher expectations for student behaviour.
This approach, which makes use of direct instruction to support rapid improvement in literacy and numeracy, was particularly praised by Ofsted. The Midland Academies Trust has been selected to lead a pilot project across the Midlands next year, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation, in recognition of their expertise in this area.
The Trust is delighted at this endorsement of its strategy which is seeing accelerated progress at all its schools. The Midland Academies Trust is a founder member of the Midland Knowledge Schools Hub and works closely with other, high-performing schools in the region, offering a valuable resource for other schools wishing to transform their curriculum.
A copy of the full inspection report is available on the Ofsted website here.
About the Midland Academies Trust
The Midland Academies Trust is a multi-academy trust which is an exempt charity sponsored by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College to support local schools. The Trust,