Kings of Wessex Academy praised for its 'effective' safeguarding

PUBLISHED: 10:00 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:55 15 November 2017

Gavin Ball with some of the students from Kings Of Wessex Academy.

Gavin Ball with some of the students from Kings Of Wessex Academy.

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A Somerset school has been rated as 'good' by an education watchdog, and earned special praise for its safeguarding.

Ofsted paid a visit to the Kings Of Wessex Academy, in Station Road in Cheddar, in October and its findings have now been released.

It was not a full inspection, but organised by inspectors to specifically determine the school’s safeguarding arrangements.

In its findings, the inspector said: “The school has a well-regarded track record for pupils’ academic achievement and success.

“Despite this, leaders and governors recognise many stakeholders – particularly a proportion of parents – have expressed concerns about the emphasis the school places on pastoral provision and on support for pupils’ health, welfare and wellbeing.”

The school has recently welcomed new executive headteacher, Gavin Ball, to the school and to the Wessex Learning Trust, the multi-academy trust which is made up of eight other schools.

Mr Ball has also been joined by two new deputies, Jason Edwards and Gemma Hunt, following the retirement of the previous headteacher and deputy last year.

Mr Ball told the Mercury earlier this year he will be focusing on developing the pupil as a ‘whole child’.

Inspectors reflected on this, and added: “New leadership has energised staff, encouraged innovation and brought fresh ideas. They are developing a more effective approach to sharing a range of information about pupils so that staff are better able to meet pupils’ needs throughout the school.”

The report did raise some areas for improvement, include more analysis about students’ attendance, behaviour and exclusions and improving the consistency and quality of tutorial time.

Mr Ball said: “I am delighted with the positive outcome for Kings in validating that safeguarding of our students is effective in our academy.

“There was a constructive dialogue with the inspectors who highlighted a number of issues, some of which we were already aware.

“We are now committed to implementing their recommendations to ensure safeguarding and the welfare of all the students continues to be one of our priorities and integral to the education we provide.”

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