Ofsted finds serious failings at ‘inadequate’ All Saints Academy

All Saints Academy, Houghton Road, Dunstable
All Saints Academy, Houghton Road, Dunstable

All Saints Academy has a number of serious failings to overcome after being rated as an inadequate school by Ofsted.

A report published on Friday reveals that the Houghton Road academy’s quality of teaching and the achievement of pupils are in the worse category possible.

Its sixth form was also found to have serious shortcomings across the board and progress has been “significantly below average for the last three years.”

The dismal report comes after All Saints’ previous two inspections– in October 2011 and November 2013– both ended in a ‘requires improvement’ rating.

Following these reports the Department for Education carried out a ‘diagnostic visit’ in January, after which the academy was told that its peformance had been “unacceptably low” and “unlikely to improve significantly”.

The academy’s co-sponsors, the Diocese of St Albans and the University of Bedfordshire, came under fire for not being clear on the direction of All Saints and the governing body were said to have “not been effective in providing support and challenge to the leadership of the academy”.

The most recent report states that achievement of pupils is among the chief concerns of Ofsted inspectors.

It reads: “Students leave with attainment that is also significantly below average.

“The proportion gaining five or more GCSE qualifications, including English and mathematics at grade C or above, is declining over time and dropped significantly in 2014.”

The report adds that teachers’ low expectations of students is holding back attainment.

It reads: “Although the progress of the most able was in line with expectations in 2014, many teachers and leaders have failed to react to the admission of more able students and the subsequent low expectations in the classroom are starting to slow the progress of this group of students.”

Despite the shortcomings Ofsted has acknowledged that the academy’s senior leaders “have recognised the need to act decisively and with urgency” and are “quickly reducing the amount of inadequate teaching”.

The academy’s co-sponsors told the Gazette that they ‘remain committed’ to All Saints.

David Fraser, chair of the board of governors, said: “Many of the foundations have already been laid to give the academy a head start on making the improvements identified within the Ofsted report.

“A refreshed governing body is committed to working constructively with the leadership team at the academy to rapidly improve teaching, learning and pupil achievement.”

All Saints Academy principal Tom Waterworth was unavailable for comment.