Leap in standards at ‘outstanding’ Maltings Academy in Witham
PUBLISHED: 18:04 26 March 2015 | UPDATED: 18:04 26 March 2015
A Witham academy has been given an “outstanding” Ofsted rating.
Maltings Academy, in Spinks Lane, received a two-day visit at the start of the month by inspectors who declared every aspect of the school outstanding.
The report comes exactly two years after the school was deemed to require improvements, with achievements in English and maths highlighted as a particular problem.
The latest report recognises the huge turnaround, stating: “Students make rapid and substantial progress from their different starting points, regardless of their abilities. High proportions make expected or above expected rates of progress in English and maths at GCSE.”
The school, part of the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), has made such progress, inspectors skipped the good grading and went straight for outstanding.
Principal John Szynal is thrilled with the result and paid tribute to his staff, students and parents for the leap in standards and achievements. He said: “I already believed this school to be outstanding.
“The things we put in place just before the 2013 visit have now had time to embed themselves. We have had a relentless focus on teaching and learning and have very high expectations of our children; that is in everything from uniform to behaviour and even taking part in extra-curricular activities.
“Those expectations then feed into the classroom. We have been on that journey for two years, but just needed the time to prove it.
“Children still arrive at Maltings with broadly average attainment on entry, but now leave well above the national average.”
During the visit, inspectors said some of the work and lessons were among the best they had ever seen and that children demonstrated a thirst for knowledge.
Mr Szynal added: “I had a huge sense of pride in what the children and staff could show off to the inspectors. The visitors were blown away by what they saw.
“They also couldn’t believe the number of parents who called them off their own backs with nothing but positive feedback; they are not used to that.”
Stephen Chamberlain, regional director of education for AET, said: “The comments in the report serve to underline the hard work of Mr Szynal and his team, the governors and the trust in providing outstanding provision and outcomes for the young people in Witham.”
The oversubscribed school – which has seen its waiting list for year seven places double for September compared to last year, was also said to have a good sixth form.
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