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Mirfield's Castle Hall Academy is back to Good - it's official

Staff delight at good Ofsted report

Head Andy Pugh and students at Castle Hall Academy, Mirfield, which has been rated Good by Ofsted.

Everyone involved at Mirfield’s biggest school is celebrating getting back into Ofsted’s good books.

The 868-pupil Castle Hall Academy in Crowlees Road has been upgraded from Requires Improvement to Good.

Principal Andy Pugh summed up the feelings of all when he said: “Inspectors have delivered a resounding judgement that Castle Hall Academy is a good school.

“I am delighted that the dedicated efforts of staff and students, the guidance of governors, and the support of parents/carers and the community have all been recognised.

“The Ofsted team have judged us as Good on all four aspects of the inspection - Achievement, Teaching, Behaviour and Safety, and Leadership.”

Inspectors found a marked improvement since their visit two years ago, after which they criticised students’ patchy progress, poor teaching and marking, behaviour issues and some leaders.

This time it was an altogether different picture. The latest report highlights significant improvements and strengths.

It praised strong leadership and effective management and governance, which have brought about an improvement in teaching. This in turn has led to raised standards of student achievement, attendance and behaviour.

Inspectors praised the commitment seen to offering students an academic curriculum, including teaching all students a modern foreign language – which has led to scores well above average for the English Baccalaureate:

“As a result, almost all students leaving the academy at the end of Year 11 continue their learning, many of them progressing to academic sixth forms and then on to university.”

Castle Hall Academy, Mirfield.

They described the academy as a “harmonious learning environment” in which discrimination is not tolerated and good relationships exist between students of different cultures and backgrounds, adding: “Students are well prepared for life in modern Britain.”

Chair of governors, Mr Chris Sutcliffe, said: “The governors are incredibly proud of the whole school community who have all worked so hard to achieve this well-deserved result. We now need to cement this ‘Good’ judgement and build on that foundation to move towards becoming an ‘Outstanding’ school.”

Mr Pugh added the report had provided a boost for the academy: “The inspectors conclude that aspirations are high for future performance. We intend to use this report as a platform on which we can now look forward to building even greater success in the future.”

Ofsted also named areas for further improvement, including teachers’ marking and feedback and numeracy skills. Inspectors commented that boys’ achievement lagged behind that of girls at the school.

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