Hagley Road Boys’ School gets first ‘good’ Ofsted rating after troubled past

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A Birmingham academy which closed after being twice deemed ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted, has received its first grade since reopening. Lordswood Boys School on Hagley Road is “good”, Ofsted has confirmed.

The regulator’s report praises the school’s leadership and program. It details how students have the opportunity to develop their broader interests, including ancestry, construction and journalism.

Dr David Kershaw is CEO of Central Academies Trust, which sponsors Lordswood Boys School. He said: “Pupils and staff, with huge support from parents and the local community, including our MP, have made dramatic improvements in pupil achievement and behaviour. Lordswood is now a wonderful learning environment and inspires our young men to be very ambitious.

READ MORE:From Birmingham to Eton: Amazing story of how failed Lordswood Boys School became one of the best in town

The Oftsed report details how pupils with special educational needs are well supported, career information is provided and protection is effective. However, he also found areas for improvement. Currently, students are not able to study all National Curriculum subjects at Key Stage 3, including Computing or Design and Technology. However, the leaders are making the necessary adjustments to remedy this.

Ofsted identified another weakness as follows: “Sometimes directors, managers and governors do not question or challenge why decisions are made. Leaders at all levels need to ensure that in addition to identifying things that have been done well, they also focus on what still needs improvement. »

The ‘right’ rating is a far cry from the troubled history of the Lordswood Boys. When last inspected in 2016, students were underachieving, literacy levels were low, and class interruptions were common. The quality of teaching and learning assessment was inconsistent and leaders were not achieving improvements at a fast enough rate. Teachers’ assessment of students’ progress was also not accurate enough, and students were not applying tips to improve their written work.

This negative report was not enough to start an improvement in the school. In 2017, just 30% of Year 11 students achieved the national standard of Level 4 – the new equivalent of an old C grade – in maths and English.

The school was in debt and the number of pupils had fallen to just 320. In September of the same year, Dr. Kershaw, who has an excellent reputation as a troubleshooter in education, was asked to take over. His transformation of the school saw 70% of pupils achieve a Level 4 in English and Maths within a year. In 2019, he told Birmingham Live how the school culture needed to change.

He said: “It was obvious when I first walked around. There was complacency, there wasn’t enough learning going on. The young people were not intellectually stimulated, which is unacceptable. There was a culture of compliance. The teachers did not impose too many demands on the young people and the young people did not make life too difficult for the teachers.

Labor MP for Harborne and Edgbaston Preet Kaur Gill praised the school in a blog post. She said: “It’s fantastic to see this incredible transformation. This Ofsted result is well deserved after the work the staff have done to make this change a reality.

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