The continued positive progress being made at The Hereford Academy has been praised following a recent inspection by Ofsted.

Inspectors visited the school on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th February and found the school to be ‘Good’ in three of the four areas it is graded against. While the overall grading remains at ‘Requires Improvement’, the comments in the Ofsted report were hugely positive overall.

The Hereford Academy – which is a member of the Diocese of Hereford Multi-Academy Trust (DHMAT) – received praised for being a ‘calm and welcoming place’, where pupils enjoy a warm and friendly culture living the values of ‘aspiration, care, trust, resilience and respect’.

The children were noted as being polite to visitors and keen to talk about their school, with the leaders’ commitment to creating an environment free from discrimination where other cultures are celebrated. The report clearly states that on the rare occasions it happens, ‘bullying is dealt with swiftly’ and that ‘action is taken quickly to address it.’

Ofsted inspectors could clearly see that the school leaders, including governors, have an ‘ambitious vision for the quality of education that they want pupils to receive’ and that the leadership has stabilised well after a period of turbulence.

The curriculum on offer was found to have been ‘developed’ and ‘strengthened’ to meet the needs of pupils and that a ‘considerable amount of work’ has been done to implement it across the school. The report also refers to a high expectation of pupils’ conduct and how the relationships with staff are generally ‘very good’.

In addition, the inspection team found that personal development is a strength of the school – with a well-designed programme ensuring pupils ‘know how to keep themselves healthy and safe, and how to navigate different relationships – and also praised the high level of ambition the school has for pupils with SEND (special educational needs/disabilities), with teachers identifyingindividuals with additional needs ‘very well’.

Speaking about this report, Michael Stoppard, Headteacher at The Hereford Academy, said:

“I am very pleased the Ofsted inspection team could clearly see the continued positive progress here. Thisacknowledgement is important as it provides firm evidence the school is on an upward trajectory in all areas and that the hard work being done by staff and leaders is bearing fruit. We are now a popular school and are full in most year groups.

“For me, it is all about our pupils. They must always come first and the fact the improving reputation of their school is now being recognised by Ofsted is great for them. 

“While we know there is more work to do to get to where we want to be, work we are absolutely committed to doing, it is very reassuring to have this feedback. We know what we need to do next and we are moving heaven and earth to continue the transformation which began in early 2019.

“I’d like to thank everyone who is playing a part in the huge strides being made at The Hereford Academy. We all remain determined to give our pupils the very best educational experience we can, and the learning opportunities they all deserve.”

Meanwhile, Canon Andrew Teale, Chief Executive Officer at DHMAT, commented:

“The positive transformation at The Hereford Academycontinues and it is great to see it now uses its fabulous building and facilities to full effect. 

“The school has been innovative in overcoming some of the recruitment challenges being seen in education at the present time, and it has a passionate group of teachers, support staff and school leaders, who are dedicating their skills and professionalism to building the best school we can for this community.

“Our students have amazing potential and it is great that we can now unlock new opportunities for them, such as the very popular (funded) Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and our new cadet force backed by the Ministry of Defence.

“The school has become a great place to work and grow as a professional, as well as to learn and flourish as a pupil. We are delighted that it is also becoming a popular choice for some of the brightest graduates coming into the teaching profession.

“The Hereford Academy remains a vitally important school in the Herefordshire education landscape and we will continue to work tirelessly to develop it still further and move forward on its positive journey.”