Northern Education Trust

Working to fulfil the potential of young people

The Ferns Makes Good Progress Since Becoming an Academy

9th Jun 2014

The Ferns Makes Good Progress Since Becoming an Academy

A primary school in Bolton which converted to an academy less than two years ago, under the sponsorship of the Northern Education Trust, has received a favourable judgment by Ofsted following a recent inspection.

The Ferns Primary Academy, formerly known as Plodder Lane Primary, converted to an academy in September 2012, after being placed in special measures.?? Principal, Debra Murphy, was appointed at the same time.

The school is larger than the average-sized primary school with 340 pupils aged four to eleven years on roll.? It also has more pupils than average eligible to pupil premium support as well as with special educational needs.

The inspection, which took place on 14-15 May, graded the behaviour and safety of pupils and its leadership and management as good.? It reported that ?the principal has a clear understanding of what needs to be improved and has made an excellent start in steering the school in the right direction.? As a result, both teaching and pupils? achievement are improving rapidly.?

It also said that while children start the Early Years Foundation Stage with skills that are well below those typical for their age, owing to the good teaching they now receive, most children make good progress from their different starting points.?

It reports that pupils? progress is improving rapidly on that seen last year and the quality of teaching and pupils? learning are also improving rapidly across the school.? This is a direct result of the principal?s passion to drive pupils? learning forward.? The report also mentions the significance of the strong and determined leadership of the principal as being central to the rapid improvements found.

Commenting on the report, principal, Debra Murphy, said: ?There is still room for further improvement, but given our starting point, we are very pleased with this report.?

?The behaviour of pupils is now good and even older pupils pointed out to the Ofsted inspectors just how much has changed over the last two years.? Ofsted reviewed our behaviour logs and this view was supported.? This, in turn, contributes to a much improved climate for learning.

?I should like to thank my teaching staff, governors and parents for their continuing support and also, I should like to say a huge ?well done? to all our children who continue to work really hard and are so keen to learn.? It gives me the greatest pleasure to hear Ofsted also thinks we are doing well.? But we will not let it rest there. We still have much more work to do and we are fully committed to the task.?

Roger Alston, chief executive of the Northern Education Trust, added:?? ?We could not have hoped for a better Ofsted report than this. Debra has injected such a great deal of vibrancy into the school and created a real appetite for learning so that all children are now fully engaged in the learning process.?

?The exam results from last year were a legacy of pre-2012 problems before we took over the school.? Inevitably the most recent results have to be taken into account by Ofsted when awarding a judgment on achievement of pupils and quality of teaching, so it would have been difficult to anticipate a better judgment than the one we received, but we are confident that everything is heading in the right direction and believe that The Ferns Primary Academy can look forward to a very promising future.?