Northern Education Trust

Working to fulfil the potential of young people

Second Outstanding Judgment for Northern Education Trust's Hilton Primary Academy

6th Jul 2018

Second Outstanding Judgment for Northern Education Trust's Hilton Primary Academy

Hilton Primary Academy in Blakelaw, Newcastle, which is sponsored by Northern Education Trust (NET), has been awarded a judgment of 'outstanding' across every measure of its performance in its latest Ofsted inspection which was conducted at the beginning of June.

It is the second, consecutive outstanding judgment awarded to the school which plays a central role within the local community.

Inspectors were impressed by the commitment of the principal and staff to meeting the needs of pupils and families and to providing the highest standards of care and support. The report says the team's actions 'help pupils to make outstanding progress from their starting points', 'the arrangements for safeguarding pupils are extremely effective' and 'the actions of leaders and teachers significantly enhance the well-being of children and families.'

Inspectors remarked upon the support given by NET in terms of checking standards, developing leadership and supporting ongoing improvement. They also described the governors as 'passionate in their commitment to the school's community ethos.'

Hilton Primary Academy introduced provision for two-year-olds in 2016 and it has been an extremely popular addition to the school. Inspectors found this to be high quality and innovative, enabling children to establish a foundation for learning earlier and bringing a crucial advantage as they progress through primary school.

The school also has a strong spiritual, moral, social and cultural ethos and its outstandingly well-behaved children are involved in extensive charitable activities as well as various 'experiences', trips and visits that make learning meaningful and enjoyable.

When Hilton converted to an academy under NET six years ago, its standards had been consistently low for many years and progress weak across all age groups. The predecessor school was judged to require improvement.

Principal, Mrs Shirley Davison, herself a National Leader for Education, regards this second judgment of outstanding as a particularly pleasing outcome, given that the bar has changed since Hilton was last inspected when there was a different framework. She said:

"It is a lot harder to achieve outstanding now. We assessed what we needed to do to continue improving, my team understood the journey we were on and our children are hard-working and resilient, so everyone has strived to maintain the high standards in our school, which are evident everywhere.

"Hilton lies at the heart of the community. We are involved in the Blakelaw Community Trust and we have a strong pastoral team, which assists in reinforcing our aims, vision and values.

"With the support of NET, our staff have benefited from a great deal of training and leadership development, specifically, developing initiatives which involve innovating new practices and establishing small-scale trials to assess effect, which are then rolled out across the school, and in some cases, the Trust. Such practices enable our teaching to be maintained at a high standard.

"We use the Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme (TEEP) as well as the RAG (Red Amber Green) and STEP (Student Tracker of Effort and Progress), which have both been introduced by the Trust and are a rigorous set of new school improvement systems to review the attainment and progress of each child weekly.

"Our curriculum is now literacy-led, and it is exciting for our children. As a National Support School, we are always looking at new ways to improve, to support one another and share expertise.

Rob Tarn, Chief Executive of Northern Education Trust, praised the outstanding leadership of the Principal Shirley Davison and the remarkable commitment of staff and governors and said:

"Hilton children make the school feel a special place and their passion and commitment is being rewarded with an outstanding education"