Daventry secondary school taken out of special measures after making improvements

The Parker E-ACT Academy, Daventry
The Parker E-ACT Academy, Daventry

There was an extra reason to celebrate at the end of term for students and staff at a Daventry school.

The Parker E-ACT Academy, in Ashby Road, had its latest Ofsted report released just a day before the end of term and it was an early Christmas present for all those involved at the school after it was taken out of special measures.

The inspectors felt the school had made significant improvements to lift it out of the special measures category, and had the capacity to make more such improvements in future.

Principal Andrew Mackereth said: “I had known since the last inspection at the start of December, but we could not announce it until the final version of the report was published by Ofsted.

“Parents knew we had been inspected and wanted to know the outcome, so it was a rather frustrating!

“The report has some really good things to say about the school.

“Usually when a school comes out of special measures it gets graded as ‘requires improvement’ across the board. But we got rated as ‘good’ for the effectiveness of leadership and management.

“People may think that refers to me as principal and the senior team, but really it is looking at leadership in all areas – in teaching, in behaviour and other areas.

“It’s a good sign because good leadership is needed for something to improve.”

The school is going through what Mr Mackereth describes as a ‘transformation’ process – transforming the way the staff work together, and with students, to improve learning and outcomes, and transforming how the young people view their school as well.

Another aspect has been working to ensure all aspects of teaching and school life are raised to the highest level by sharing skills and knowledge among the staff in new ways, while tracking students’ progress and tailoring learning to individual needs.

Mr Mackereth said: “We know we have more to do. We were graded as ‘requires improvement’ overall, but nothing the inspectors highlighted as areas for improvement were a surprise to us which means we in the school know what standards we should be aiming for.

“Our goal is to be an ‘outstanding’ school in future. That might be a stretch in the two years before the next Ofsted inspection, but nothing less that a ‘good’ grade will be acceptable then.

“Our focus remains on getting it right in every lesson, every day and for every child.”

See the Daventry Express on Thursday for more on the school’s improvements.