Thomas Whitehead Academy: Ofsted "The quality of education is Inadequate"

Thomas Whitehead Chuch of England Academy has been rated 
"Inadequate" for The quality of education
"Requires improvement" for behaviour and attitudes
""Requires improvement" for personal development
"Inadequate" for Leadership and management
"Inadequate" for Early years provision

The academy in Angels Lane, Houghton Regis received its Ofsted inspection on 22 and 23 September 2021.

This was the first routine inspection the school had received since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Inspectors discussed the impact of the pandemic with school leaders, and have taken that into account in their evaluation.

Thomas Whitehead Church of England Academy is a Church of England faith school located in the Diocese of St Albans. The religious character of the school was inspected under section 48 of the Education Act 2005 in March 2017.

The school is an average-sized primary school. It is sponsored by the Diocese of St Albans Multi-Academy Trust. The trust delegates aspects of governance to the local governing body. The board of trustees is the accountable body. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils is above the national average. The proportions of pupils with SEND and those with an education, health and care plan are both above the national average. The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is above the national average.

Action points for the school to improve upon are:

  • Leaders must take urgent action to improve the wide-ranging weaknesses in the school’s curriculum.
  • Leaders have not ensured that teachers have the subject knowledge that they need to deliver an effective curriculum for the age groups that they teach. 
  • The reading curriculum needs to be addressed.  Leaders should ensure that the reading curriculum includes a strong focus on the effective teaching of phonics, and equally, that teachers understand how to develop pupils’ reading quickly, so that pupils throughout the school learn to read with confidence and understanding.
  • Early years — Leaders must ensure that there is an appropriate curriculum that clearly sets out how children’s knowledge and understanding will be built upon and secured. Leaders must check that the curriculum is implemented effectively so that children are ready to move into Year 1. 
  • The trust must make sure that the newly formed local governing body holds leaders to account rigorously for how weaknesses in the quality of education are being addressed quickly and effectively
A full copy of the Ofsted report is available online, here.

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