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Derby Pride Academy: The First Alternative Provision Free School to achieve OUTSTANDING by Ofsted

The Ofsted inspection carried out in the last week of April found Derby Pride Academy to be an outstanding school.

 John Rutherford HMI led the inspection which concluded that  “In the short time that students attend the academy, their academic achievement  improves from poor to outstanding”

The report goes on to say,

“The quality of teaching, care and guidance for the students is exceptional. It is very well matched to their individual needs.”

 A Derby Pride Trust development; Derby Pride Academy is led by Derby Moor Community Sports College in partnership with Derby County Football Club to provide good examination outcomes and redirection work for high need students in an alternative provision setting.

Ofsted recognised the collaborative nature of the venture; “The driving force for the academy’s success is the shared vision of the leadership team, governors and key partners who, together, want to improve the life chances of the city’s most challenging young people.”

Simon Carnall, Director of Derby County Football Club Community Trust and Derby Pride Trust, said “I am so proud of today's achievement and so pleased for the academy, it is a testament to our passion, drive and commitment.”

A unique feature of the school is that all of the teaching staff work both at Derby Pride Academy and Derby Moor Community Sports College. Wendy Whelan, Executive Principal and Trust Director, explains “we are trying to mimic a mainstream experience for our students, with an eye constantly to getting them back to mainstream provision, and having teachers who have mainstream experience and expectations really helps with this.”

Ofsted  reported “Students make very rapid progress in improving their behaviour. Many students are re-integrated into their mainstream (commissioning) school after one or two terms in the academy”

When Michael Gove visited the Academy in July 2013 he said, “I think it is fantastic. There are many reasons for this – the fact that you have teachers who also teach at Derby Moor is great. It means you have an excellent standard of teaching.  I believe that the way teachers really get to know and understand you here is very beneficial.”

Ofsted commended the school for its partnership with parents “ partnership with parents is outstanding.  The academy keeps them fully up- to-date on the progress of their children and how they can best provide support”

Neil Jamieson, Associate Principal, said “we are particularly pleased that Ofsted noted the quality of relationships that we take care to build with parents, whose support is vital in helping these young people move forward”.

Ofsted found the quality of teaching to be outstanding, “Teachers have high expectations for what the students will achieve. Their lessons are interesting, and often promote learning through challenging problem-solving tasks. Students, therefore, concentrate and work hard.”  All parents that returned an academy questionnaire strongly agreed that teaching is of a high quality

Will Ingleby, Chair of Governors and Trust Director commented, “this has been a very important development for our Trust. We have worked incredibly hard to establish a provision which we are proud of and which students value. This inspection report is a validation of that hard work and will spur us on to continue to improve our offer for the young people of the city.

To view the whole report, click here