Headteacher ‘very pleased’ with Ofsted report praising school’s ‘bold ambitions’

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 December 2018

Gavin Ball with students.

Gavin Ball with students.

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A Cheddar school has been praised for its ‘shared vision for care and inclusion’ by an education watchdog.

The Kings of Wessex Academy, in Station Road, was once again judged to be good and its safeguarding to be effective during a short Ofsted inspection.

The focus of the inspection was on the pastoral system, the contribution of subject leaders to improve teaching and achievement.

Inspectors acknowledged headteacher Gavin Ball, who took over from long-standing leader Chris Richardson in 2017, and his leadership team for delivering ‘a shared vision for care and inclusion, alongside academic achievement’.

The report also stated: “There is an ethos where, as one parent stated, ‘pupil well-being is as important as results’.

“This vision is steadily becoming a reality.

“Achievement, particularly in the main school, remains strong.

“Your expectation and aspiration for curriculum breadth and challenge remain high.”

The inspectors praised the above average exam results which have been achieved by the students in the past couple of years.

They noted: “The achievement of lower-attaining students rose dramatically in 2018 and the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers is closing quickly.”

Ofsted observed Kings, which is part of the Wessex Learning Trust, had a ‘bold ambition’ for ‘coherent, comprehensive, high-quality education’ for pupils across its trust schools.

The inspector added: “The academy is increasingly playing its part in securing this ambition.”

Mr Ball and his team had ‘successfully tackled’ areas which were highlighted as needing improvement following an October 2017 monitoring inspection.

The team is now addressing Ofsted’s recommendations to focus on embedding the various changes introduced by the new leadership.

Mr Ball said he was ‘very pleased’ with the judgement his school received.

He added: “I thank the inspection team for the encouraging discussion about our school improvement work.

“We remain committed to providing a caring and safe learning environment and the best education for all our students and the Ofsted report endorses our endeavours.”

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