Academy head praises staff after ‘good’ Ofsted rating

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Improvements to teaching, the curriculum and leadership have helped a primary academy secure a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted.

The Mill, in Ifield – part of The Kemnal Academy Trust (TKAT) – was visited by inspectors in May and their findings were published on Tuesday (June 21).

In her report, inspector Siân Thornton said headteacher Matt Lecuyer and executive head Neil Small had worked “exceptionally well together” since joining the academy in September.

She added: “Leaders have ensured that teaching is good throughout the school. As a result, all groups of pupils make good progress.”

In addition, the achievement gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers was seen to be “closing rapidly”.

Before the school converted to academy status in 2012, it had been told to improve; and Mr Lecuyer had no doubt where the credit for the progress made should go.

Describing the ‘good’ rating as “a huge achievement for the school”, he said his staff had done an “amazing job”.

He added: “We are extremely proud of the team we have here. Whenever parents come and visit us they are impressed with what they see.

“To read that Ofsted report we provide the best care and education for all the school’s pupils makes us both feel very proud.”

That view was shared by parents who, Ms Thornton said, “commented enthusiastically” about the changes in the school and the strengths of leaders and staff.

She added: “Many parents are also delighted with positive changes in their children’s attitude to school and their consequent good progress.”

The Mill’s governing body was seen to be firmly holding the leadership team to account for the school’s continuing improvement .

Describing them as “ambitious and passionate for the success of every pupil in the school”, Ms Thornton added: “One governor told inspectors ‘we want parents in Crawley to be disappointed when they cannot have a place here for their child’.”

Among the points highlighted for improvement was the issue of persistent absence among a minority of pupils.

Mr Lecuyer said a lot of work was being done to address this and added: “We work very closely alongside parents and families to find out how we can help.”

Karen Roberts, CEO at TKAT, said: “Ofsted’s ‘good’ rating is an absolutely fantastic result for The Mill Primary.

“Their judgement is a valued recognition of the hard work put in by the academies leadership, staff, children, parents and the local community in driving progress and standards.

“Well done to all at the school and we at TKAT look forward to working with them on their journey to ‘outstanding’.”

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