The story of our trust
In 2014 Rushcliffe was judged to be "outstanding" and we started to work with Farnborough School when it was put into special measures. In 2015 we formed the Trent Academies Group. The Farnborough Academy emerged from Farnborough School - same pupils, same building. In Jan 2016 Arnold Hill joined the trust when it was judged to be inadequate and to have serious weaknesses.
So much has happened since then. Each academy is better than it was. Rushcliffe has earned World Class status, Arnold Hill has moved from "serious weaknesses" to "requires improvement" and will hopefully be "good" soon. Farnborough hadn't been inspected as an academy. In September a team spent two days at the academy and after almost two months of deliberation has now produced a report. It's available on the Farnborough website http://www.thefarnboroughacademy.co.uk and will be public from Monday 20th November.
The report notes improvements that have taken place since January 2015. They don't make any reference to the preceding 9 months when we introduced a new school day, data systems that worked, a new senior team and lots of new teachers, a new behaviour management programme, a new attendance monitoring system and re-introduced trips and visits. As far as OFSTED is concerned this was activity under the banner of the Farnborough School not the academy. Seems a shame but rules are rules I suppose.
The improvements refer to better teaching, a safe and orderly environment, committed leadership, good links with employers and better care for vulnerable pupils. However they were concerned by the attendance - it dipped last year after 3 years of improvement, behaviour - specifically the number of exclusions and the GCSE results. In the end it's hard to avoid the view that the GCSE results and the associated Progress 8 figure were the biggest factors in influencing the OFSTED judgement.
Our response started some weeks ago. I'm there more of the time to support Ben and the team. They are an excellent group and I would trust them to lead any school. Steve Lewis has a high profile role in English and Maths, working closely with Gareth Summers and Vanessa Roper, and a former HMI has already visited to make sure we are on the right track.
There's so much going well at Farnborough. Good people working hard and caring. The GCSE results will improve, exclusions will come down and attendance will improve. Nobody said it would be easy - but it'll be worth it.