STUDENT achievement and teaching are outstanding at Shelley College.
That’s the opinion of Ofsted inspectors who have just published their report following a two-day visit to the school where they observed 43 lessons.
The academy was given an overall rating of Outstanding (1), having reached that grade for pupil achievement, quality of teaching, and leadership and management.
The only area rated below this was pupil behaviour and safety, which was Good (2).
Inspectors were highly complimentary about the 1,425-pupil school and sixth form.
Achievement is outstanding. Students make excellent progress in their studies and reach high standards in English and mathematics.
The quality of teaching is outstanding. Teachers know their subjects very well indeed.
Students are proud of the school. They behave well and sometimes outstandingly well in lessons and around school. Occasionally, a few students do not apply themselves fully to their learning and this results in a little low-level misbehaviour.
The very well-informed headteacher and committed senior leadership team have high ambitions for the school. They reject complacency and show great determination to drive forward improvements.
Governors have an impressive understanding of performance in all areas of the school’s life.
They also praised the “impressive” progress of students eligible for free school meals, which was far above the national average.
The college’s Entice Project, developed by assistant headteacher Debbie Lumb, came in for special mention. It helps young people get meaningful jobs or places on quality post-16 courses.
Principal John McNally said: “I am delighted that Shelley College was judged to be outstanding. This is a tremendous achievement under a very rigorous Ofsted framework, and I hope it gives parents considerable confidence in the work we are doing.
“The students deserve praise and recognition, the vast majority work extremely hard and are a delight to teach. We are fortunate to have so many talented young people.
“I am also grateful to the parents for their help.
“ A number took the time to contact inspectors and the vast majority were very supportive.
“A small number expressed concerns but, where this happened, the inspectors checked our work very carefully and found it to be outstanding.
“There are, of course, still some areas to improve and I can assure parents we do not consider ourselves to be perfect.
“The staff and governors will continue to try our hardest to improve the quality of education even further over the coming years.”
This was the first Ofsted inspection since conversion to academy in September 2011. The previous Shelley College - A Specialist Centre for Science – was given an overall grade of Good (2), with Outstanding (1) for pupils’ achievement, behaviour and outcomes at its final inspection in March 2010.