Progress made at school placed in special measures

Central CE Academy was placed in special measures in July
Central CE Academy was placed in special measures in July

Ofsted has carried out its first monitoring inspection at Central CE Academy since the school was placed in special measures.

Phil Minns conducted a two-day inspection in October and his findings were published on November 9. While the school’s improvement plan – put together by executive headteacher Chris Kronda and his team – received praise, the statement of action from the Diocese of Chichester Academy Trust (DCAT) was described as “not fit for purpose”.

In his report, Mr Minns said of the trust’s statement: “It does not guide the school’s improvement or ensure that priorities are tackled. Current targets for the school’s improvement set out in the statement are unrealistic.”

The inspector was also concerned Central had been without a permanent head for more than six months – and had yet to advertise the post – but was impressed with the work of Mr Kronda.

Mr Minns said he brought “strength and stability” to the school, with his team acting “swiftly” to tackle teaching and safeguarding weaknesses.

He added there was already evidence of progress being made thanks to the school’s improvement plan. In the classrooms, behaviour was seen to have improved, while a system had been introduced to monitor the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

Mr Kronda said it had been a “shock” to see Central placed in special measures, adding: “There are many green shoots of improvement.

"There’s lots of evidence that firmer foundations of improvement have been laid and the school is on the way up. We’ve got clear milestones to aim for. There is a huge amount of desire to see this place move and improve so that the children’s experiences are good and better and they’re well-prepared for the move to secondary school.”

A DCAT spokesman said the trust was “completely committed” to seeing improvement at Central.

He added: “The inspector noted that the trust’s statement of action was too ambitious and that the targets the trust set itself should be revised.

“Accordingly, the statement of action has been adjusted and will be considered by the Ofsted inspector at the next monitoring visit. Our over arching concern is for the flourishing and wellbeing of each and every child at the academy and we are fully focussed on working to that end.”

To view the report in full log on to the Ofsted website.