Ilfracombe Academy has turned its inspection fortunes around after scoring good across the board

Ilfracombe Academy has been hailed as a ‘transformed’ school by education inspectors.

Ofsted inspectors have rated the school as ‘good’ across the board, turning its fortunes around after being rated as ‘requires improvement’ in 2015.

Four inspectors visited the school at the end of April and their report is full of praise, saying: “Directors, governors and leaders have transformed the culture of the school. As a result, this is a good and improving school.”

This is despite ongoing building work and a restriction on available space and the reported noted: “Despite the limitations of the old building and the construction site, pupils and staff are resiliently persevering and succeeding in overcoming any obstacles so that achievement continues to rise.”

They singled out headteacher Sharon Marshall for praise too, commenting: “The headteacher has been instrumental in changing the ethos of the school.

“Her vision for the school to be a central point in the community while providing aspirational and purposeful education for pupils is coming to fruition. Pupils are well prepared for life in the 21st century.”

The report highlighted a steady improvement in academic standards and much-improved behaviour among pupils.

As with any inspection, it also raised areas where progress could still be made, including ‘room for improvement’ with a few pupils, as well as teachers needing to be ‘held to account; more in some areas.

Inspectors suggested the school needed measures to monitor the work of teachers more stringently and to ensure learning met the needs of individual pupils and sufficiently challenged the most able.

Mrs Marshall said: “We are delighted the with the outcome of our recent Ofsted report which reflects the high standards set by directors, governors and academy staff. We know that our students are aspirational and fully engaged in their learning and I am delighted that the report highlights this, along with the fact that their behaviour is routinely respectful, welcoming and in line with our school values.

“The support of our parents and our wider community has been essential to achieving this success and they must share the credit for the report too.”