Bath Community Academy taken out of special measures
A Bath academy which was set up to take over a failing secondary school has been told by Ofsted inspectors that it is making good progress.
The Bath Community Academy has been taken out of special measures after getting positive feedback about the work it is doing to improve academic standards, leadership and behaviour.
Inspectors, who were at the Rush Hill school for two days at the beginning of last month, observed 21 lessons and said they were impressed.
The report said: "The academy's leaders have successfully halted the decline of the predecessor school and have made their high expectations explicit to the whole academy community.
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"Aspirations are rising and there is a tangible sense of optimism and purpose. The positive impact of strong leadership on students' behaviour and the quality of teaching has led staff to trust the principal, and morale is high."
Since it was taken over as a co-educational academy, the former Culverhay School has grown and now has 287 pupils, including 35 in its sixth form.
Around a quarter of pupils in Year 7 are girls and there are a small number of girls in each of the other year groups.
There has been building work on site, with a new reception area constructed, as well as new toilets and classroom refurbishment.
But it is the standard of learning which inspectors were most interested in and reported that good progress was being made, with much of the teaching now being classed as good, with some outstanding.
However, the fact many current Year 11 pupils joined the school with below average levels of achievement and have made weak progress while at Culverhay means the academy will not meet the Government's minimum GCSE requirements this summer. There is also an issue with low attendance and a history of poor behaviour, although successful steps are being made to improve both.
The report said: "The biggest challenge for senior leaders has been to make clear their authority and expectations of students' behaviour. They have trained teachers to manage behaviour in a professional, fair, firm and consistent way, so students respond positively. This has been exceptionally successful."
Principal Adam Williams said: "This is an outstanding achievement, contributed to by every single member of staff in the building, where progress is clear and is positively impacting the education and outcomes of students."