Northern Education Trust

Working to fulfil the potential of young people

Quality of Teaching Rapidly Improving at Mount Pellon - Ofsted

21st Apr 2015

Quality of Teaching Rapidly Improving at Mount Pellon - Ofsted

It is celebrations all round at Mount Pellon Primary Academy in Halifax after receiving its first Ofsted inspection since becoming an academy in April 2013, sponsored by the Northern Education Trust (NET).

Leadership and management were judged to be ?good? as well as the ?behaviour and safety of pupils?. Although Mount Pellon received an overall judgement of ?requires improvement?, it is generally a very positive report because it describes how the principal, academy leaders and governors are ?relentless in their determination to continually improve the quality of teaching and raise standards of achievement?.

Special mention is made of the principal, Cathy Hayton, who, supported by her very able vice-principal, senior leadership team, teachers and governors, is determined that all pupils should have access to a good education. Together with colleagues, ?she has systematically tackled a host of weaknesses, which include inadequate teaching, poor staff morale, low expectations of pupils and poor behaviour.?

With 567 pupils, the school is more than twice the size of the average primary school and before it became an academy, had suffered from a history of poor teaching, leadership and academic achievement, which had resulted in it being placed in special measures three times in ten years.

Pupils were praised for their good behaviour and commended on how well they learn, work and play together given the various social, cultural and religious backgrounds and the many different languages they speak in what the inspectors considered a ?very harmonious academy?. The children also told inspectors ?the best thing about the academy is the teachers because they always help us to learn and they make learning interesting?.

Since NET became sponsor in 2013, it has worked tirelessly to improve teaching, leadership and pupil attainment in its aim to provide consistently high standards throughout the school, the results of which are now clear to see.

The visit, which took place over 17-18 March, impressed inspectors who noted that pupils behaved well at all times and are excited by their learning; that the quality of teaching is improving rapidly; that training provided for teaching staff is highly effective; and that its governors are working well to rigorously hold senior leaders to account, regularly monitoring the quality of teaching and pupils? learning. It also stated that governors are effective in their roles because they provide support and advice in equal measure.

Although nearly all of its pupils come from minority ethnic groups and speak English as an additional language, this has not deterred Cathy Hayton, her staff and governors from embarking on ambitious plans to turn the school around. She says:

?We were very pleased with the report overall because the inspectors recognised the progress we had made since converting to an academy. To be awarded a ?good? for leadership and management as well as for behaviour and safety of pupils is really encouraging and is testimony to the dedication and hard work of all teaching staff and of course, the children themselves ? many of whom live in a very disadvantaged area.

?We are absolutely determined to ensure that every Mount Pellon child gets the best possible education and start in life. It is what every child deserves.

?The support and expertise available to us through the Northern Education Trust is absolutely amazing so that whilst we still have a long way to go, it is our aim to make Mount Pellon an outstanding school within a further two years. I am confident we will achieve this.?

Ian Kershaw, chief executive of the Northern Education Trust, added: ?Cathy and her team have made a tremendous difference at Mount Pellon in a short space of time and we are delighted with the progress made.

?Her considered approach, attention to detail and tireless pursuit of excellence give me confidence that Mount Pellon children have a very bright future ahead of them.?