Ofsted highlights Littlehampton Academy’s improvement

Morgan Thomas, vice-principal, Duncan Jack, assistant principal, right, and students D14451138a
Morgan Thomas, vice-principal, Duncan Jack, assistant principal, right, and students D14451138a

IMPROVED teaching, better behaviour and ‘enthusiastic and ambitious’ leadership were some of the positive aspects spotted by Ofsted during the latest inspection of The Littlehampton Academy.

The education watchdog released the results of its last monitory inspection into the school on Monday morning.

During the two-day visit in October, inspectors praised principal Marianne Gentilli’s leadership, saying: “The principal has achieved a great deal since taking up the post. She is enthusiastic and ambitious for the academy, and has galvanised the staff to act on the areas for improvement.

“She is well supported by the senior leadership team. The academy improvement plan now sets out what needs to be done to make the necessary rapid improvements.”

Ms Gentilli said: “The inspectors’ comments are a pleasing endorsement of staff and students’ hard work over the last six months.

“While we recognise there is still much work to be done, this latest Ofsted report shows we are moving in the right direction.”

The visit last month was the second of two monitoring inspections after the academy was placed into special measures in February.

At last month’s examination, Ofsted insp-
ectors observed 23 lessons, looking at a range of students’ work The inspectors highlighted other positive aspects of the institution, including an ‘effective system’ to set challenging targets for individual students.

Praise was given for the improved quality of teaching.

“In the most effective lessons, teachers have high expectations of all groups of students,” the inspector said. “They ask questions that capture students’ interest and challenge students to think more deeply. Teachers move students on briskly so that little time is wasted.”

Other areas of improvement included students’ literacy skills, which was identified as a ‘key focus’ across the academy by inspectors, students’ presentation of their work and that youngsters were better prepared to learn.

David Bilton, chief executive of Woodard Academies Trust – the organisation which runs the school – said: “This is evidence of the great progress made by Marianne and everyone at The Littlehampton Academy, and I am confident we are on the right path towards the removal of special measures at the earliest opportunity.”