School goes from inadequate to good in three years

Pupils at Grasmere Academy celebrate their 'good' rating.
Pupils at Grasmere Academy celebrate their 'good' rating.

A school is celebrating after turning around its fortunes in three years.

Grasmere Academy, in Killingworth, was severely criticised by Ofsted inspectors in 2013, who rated it inadequate.

But staff immediately set about a drive to raise standards and build a successful learning environment, and all that hard work has paid off with a good rating in the latest inspection.

The dramatic turnaround prompted celebration among staff, students and parents, after the inspectors published their report following the inspection in September.

Reasons given by Ofsted for the school’s success included the “unwavering focus” of school leaders, a broad curriculum that is carefully planned to “excite and entice” pupils, strong governance, and a welcoming, inclusive environment.

The school received a good rating in all four categories – achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety and leadership and management.

Inspectors observed lessons and met with governors, a range of staff, a group of pupils, and considered the views of parents collected through the Parent View online survey.

Headteacher Kerry Lilico said: “I am so incredibly proud of what we have achieved as a school and community and it’s wonderful to have this externally verified by Ofsted.

“Grasmere is a very special school, where children are nurtured and taught through an exciting curriculum and enriched experiences that prepare them well for their future.”

“The school offers a warm, friendly and welcoming environment, where children can achieve their full potential regardless of ability.

“I would like to thank everyone including our governors, staff, parents and pupils, for helping to bring success back to Grasmere.”