Shropshire Star

Telford school 'requires improvement' but progress praised by Ofsted inspectors

A Telford school has been told it still needs to improve by inspectors, but they have praised progress made in the past three years.

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Ercall Wood School in Wellington has been rated 'requires improvement' by Ofsted inspectors - although they praised progress at the school.

Ercall Wood Academy, in Wellington, received an overall 'requires improvement' from Ofsted inspectors, but was found to be ‘good’ in 'leadership and management', 'behaviour and attitude of students', and 'personal development'.

Despite the overall finding inspectors, praised the academy’s vision and ambition in their newly published report.

Ercall Wood achieved its best-ever GCSE results in the autumn as part of across-the-board improvements in attainment rates under the school’s new leadership team.

It said it had also been placed in the top three best performing comprehensives in Telford & Wrekin under the Government-approved ‘Progress 8’ system, which measures the effectiveness of English secondary schools.

The Ofsted report acknowledges the ‘significant positive changes’ made since the arrival of current principal Richard Gummery in the summer of 2020.

“The principal and his leadership team are ambitious for what all pupils can achieve,” it says.

“Leaders and staff expect the best of every pupil, and have high aspirations for their futures. Teachers have thought carefully about what they want pupils to learn and are ambitious for pupils to do well.”

The report says Ercall Wood’s leaders set ‘high expectations for behaviour’ and can be ‘rightly proud’ of how the academy has improved in recent years.

“Staff are proud to teach at the school,” it added.

The report also praises the subject knowledge of teachers, and the school’s curriculum planning, and says relationships between staff and students are ‘positive and respectful’.

Ercall Wood is part of the Learning Community Trust, which runs 10 schools across Shropshire.

Chief executive of the trust, Jane Hughes, said: “We know there’s always room for improvement, but we’re very pleased that the hard work of our team at Ercall Wood has been recognised.

“We expect our pupils to be the best they can be, and it’s encouraging to see that the inspectors feel Ercall Wood is heading in the right direction, with big aspirations and a clear vision.”

The Ofsted report highlighted support for students with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) as an area requiring improvement.

Jane said: “The principal and the school’s new SEND and inclusion leads have already been working with the trust to improve provision across the school since the inspection.

“We are all deeply committed to making the Ercall Wood experience truly excellent for all of our young people.”

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