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Ofsted’s Assessment of Redstone Academy in 2017

In the name of Allah, the Possessor of Vast Mercy, the Bestower of Mercy.

Dear Parent/Guardian – Assalamu alaikum (peace be upon you),

We a pleased to announce that Ofsted have sent us their assessment of Redstone Academy after their visit and inspection of our school 10th to 12th May 2017 and the report is now available on our website. We’d like to begin by saying from the outset that the school has many, many positive points that were highlighted by the Ofsted team. However, they also highlighted areas that require improvement and areas where the school fell short and which ultimately led to our school being deemed ‘inadequate’. We would like to begin with what Ofsted described as the “strengths” of the school, and what they considered to be “good”, then we’ll mention areas where we were found to be inadequate.

Ofsted stated about our ‘Strengths’, ‘Leadership and Management’:

– The Senior Leadership Team have a clear understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. They are aware of how the school needs to improve and have a firm grasp on school improvement planning.

– Leaders have worked with the community to protect pupils from radicalisation and extremism. Pupils have the opportunity to learn about the risks involved and are confident to discuss the dangers.

– Pupils’ outcomes are good. Most pupils make good progress from their starting points across a range of subjects including English and mathematics.

– Leaders have a firm grasp of assessment processes and record, monitor and track pupils’ progress rigorously. Teachers use the information effectively to inform their lesson planning.

– Teachers have high expectations of pupils. They use secure subject knowledge to challenge pupils and skillful questioning to deepen thinking.

– There are rich examples of the effective spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils around the school. Pupils value their school environment and take ownership in aspects of its improvement.

– Leaders promote fundamental British values effectively. Boys and girls are actively involved in school council meetings and feel that leaders act upon their suggestions.

– Pupils spoke to inspectors with passion about respect and tolerance.

– School leaders provide much of the professional development available for staff and focus largely on teaching and learning strategies. This is why the quality of teaching is good and still improving.

– School leaders are ambitious for all pupils to do well and have instilled a culture of high expectations with all staff.

Ofsted stated that in regards to ‘Behaviour’:

– The behaviour of pupils is good.

– Pupils’ conduct both in lessons and around the school is good. They are polite and welcoming and respectful towards adults.

– The school’s behaviour policy aims to ‘seek a well-ordered site and a safe, supportive school’ based upon positive reinforcement and sanctions for inappropriate behaviour.

– Parents agree that pupils behave well. As one parent commented, ‘The school is a happy, safe and caring environment in which my child is surrounded by good role models.’

– Bullying is extremely rare. Pupils state there are no cases of bullying and they are confident that staff would manage any incidents quickly, should they occur.

– The school has focused sharply on attendance and punctuality. As a result of their work, late arrivals have significantly reduced. On both days of the inspection, pupils arrived at school on time and were well prepared for learning.

– In Year 10, the proportion of pupils achieving at higher levels has significantly increased. Pupils’ GCSE examination results in a range of subjects reflect this. The large majority of pupils achieved five A* to C grades including in English and mathematics in 2016.

As you can see from the above there are many good and positive aspects to the school, and we hope to continue improving the quality of education at Redstone Academy. As I stated above, Ofsted did point out our inadequacies and room for improvement. We have already rectified those shortcomings and continue to improve so that our school environment is the best and safest we can achieve. So let me mention the areas that Ofsted pointed out which made our Overall Effectiveness, ‘Inadequate’:

– “Procedures for staff recruitment have not been carried out with due regard to safer recruitment guidelines. Leaders have failed to promote equality of opportunity when recruiting staff.”

– “Leaders’ and governors’ roles and responsibilities are unclear. Some governors hold teaching posts and are therefore unable to evaluate leadership objectively or hold senior leaders to account.”

– “Lines of accountability are unclear and systems for managing staff performance are not robust.”

– “Leaders have not consistently recorded the details of the checks carried out on the fire safety systems and therefore do not fully comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.”

– “Leaders have not recorded complaints or concerns received or noted how these were resolved.”

– “The proprietor has not consistently recorded the details of the tests carried out on the water quality in the showers.”

Comment: All the above points have now been looked at and solutions have been put into place in order to rectify them. Our recruitment procedure has been updated and all adverts and interviews are conducted to ensure fairness and equality as the cause for the first point was in relation to an advert we had put out requesting a male teacher to teach two males. This was not allowed and subsequently has been removed.; we have also initialised recruitment of outside agencies to make sure all risk assessments on water are complete and we are now compliant with any regulations have all been actioned.

For each of these inadequacies, Ofsted have gone into further detail that you can read on the official report — and we have developed an action plan to rectify the areas of weakness. This will be submitted, and we hope that they will accept it. However, despite our best efforts and even though Ofsted may accept our Action Plan, and accept that all procedures are now in place, our ‘Inadequate’ status will remain until the next Ofsted inspection. We sincerely hope that you will aid and support us with our community school — and we thank you for your patience. If you have any questions whatsoever please do not hesitate to contact us and we will endeavour to help. We thank Ofsted for their robust inspection as it helps us to raise the standards of Redstone Academy and to make it a truly excellent institute of learning.

— Ustaadh Saadat Rasoul (Headteacher)

(26th September 2017)