A recent monitoring inspection by Ofsted, conducted remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has praised leaders and staff at the Hereford Academy for the way they have been providing education during the current, unprecedented times.

The report published following the inspection concludes that Headteacher, Michael Stoppard, and his staff have been successfully providing education for students during the pandemic, and that they have worked hard to ensure that all pupils have the equipment they need to be able to work from home.

Ofsted also found that the work being provided has been interesting, mirroring the normal curriculum as much as possible, and that pupils have regular opportunities to offer and receive feedback about the activities they are completing.

In addition, the report states that teachers have been ‘quick to intervene and support pupils who are not engaging well with remote education’.

Giving his thoughts on the outcome of the Ofsted inspection, Mr Stoppard said:

“I am really pleased to read so many positive comments in the report as I have been really proud of how our staff have adapted to the challenges presented by the pandemic. Nothing could have prepared us for the way we have had to adapt the way we are offering education, so to receive praise about the school’s response is really heartening.

“It was particularly pleasing to see it acknowledged that we have been successful in delivering the normal curriculum as much as possible and that the high expectations we have for our pupils – with special focus on Year 11 – has not dipped.

“There was also special mention of the excellent support being offered to pupils with special educational needs and that we are actively encouraging parents of vulnerable children to send them into school so that they receive the very best support the school is able to offer.

“During lockdown we have also retained our strong focus on reading, and this was noted by Ofsted too. Inspectors can see that we have an expectation that pupils will read regularly and that we provide access to a wide range of reading options. The fact that we offer additional support to pupils who struggle with reading was also picked up, and this is something we know is very important.

“As I said, I am so pleased to see the great work being done here recognised by Ofsted. It’s good to see the development of the school’s leadership capacity was singled out, as well as the fact that the curriculum changes that have taken place have been driven by both leaders and teachers themselves.

“I’ve had no doubt that the Hereford Academy has been on the up for some time and this report has only gone to demonstrate this fact clearly. I’d like to thank everyone involved for their efforts, and also pay tribute to our pupils and our families for the way they have adjusted to different ways we’ve had to do things in recent times.”