Major Doncaster academy getting better, says Ofsted

Ash Hill Academy, Hatfield.
Ash Hill Academy, Hatfield.

A Doncaster school rated by Ofsted as ‘requiring improvement’ is already improving, say government inspectors.

The report says Ash Hill Academy pupils are making better progress in English and maths since the previous inspection, but not enough to reach the national is getting batteraverage.

Low-level disruption by pupils is among issues high-lighted in the report, calling for further improvement.

It says pupils’ are making better progress in English and maths since the previous inspection, but not enough to reach the national average.

Teaching at the Ash Hill Road school, although improving, does not allow all pupils to achieve consistently well. teachers are adhering to agreed procedures.

And the report said that, in some students’ books, work is unfinished and poorly presented, while some students do not respond to teachers’ marking comments on how to improve.

Low levels of literacy were said to hamper the progress of some pupils and students’ communication skills are not sufficiently developed.

The behaviour of a small minority of students also requires improvement.

The report said students and staff agree behaviour has improved considerably, but some learning is still interrupted by low-level disruption.

And the sixth form requires improvement because initiatives to raise standards are not yet fully embedded.

However, there was also praise, with leadership at the academy rated good.

The report says Ash Hill is an improving school, with the majority of parents pleased with the quality of education provided.

Students feel safe in school and well cared for and the curriculum is effective in nurturing students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Inspectors also recognised that gaps in the achievement of different groups of students are narrowing, while governors ensure all students have equal opportunities to succeed.

Dave Williams, academy principal, said the report was part of the school’s continuing journey since it came out of special measures in 2011.

He said: “After 18 months following coming out of special measures, we were described as requiring improvement, and we have consolidated our position. This shows we’re moving towards being a good school.

“Teaching was predominantly good, but can’t be rated good because they base things on results and we are still not where we’d like to be.

“The praise of leadership is praise for all staff and pupils.

“We are pleased overall with the report.”