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Some great news regarding King Alfred's recent Ofsted Inspection!

Students, staff and governors at King Alfred’s, along with Directors at the Vale Academy Trust, were  delighted this week to receive official confirmation from Ofsted that the academy has, once again, been rated as Good overall with strong and secure judgements of ‘Good’ in every single inspection category.

The recent Ofsted report appears less than four years since the academy was rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ at the last inspection in 2018. Since that time, leaders have focussed relentlessly on the key points identified for action, resulting in sustained and secure improvements in teaching and learning, student behaviour and attitudes, pastoral care and personal development.

It is particularly impressive that this improvement has been achieved during the two years of disruption to education caused by the Covid pandemic, which resulted in schools being closed for two lengthy periods during the lockdown.

Inspectors were quick to recognise the progress the academy has made stating ‘‘The Headteacher and senior leaders and governors have effectively implemented a wide range of beneficial changes in the school.”

During the inspection, it was noted that students, too, were keen to recognise the improvements which have been brought about. The report stated “Pupils remark on the positive changes that have happened at King Alfred’s in recent times. They say that the way in which pupils behave has improved and there is not much about the school that they would improve.”

Many supportive parents echoed the same sentiment. One wrote to say “I can see how hard the staff are working and feel they have made great strides since the last Ofsted report.”

Headteacher Rick Holroyd spoke of his delight at the outcome. ‘We have felt for some time now that King Alfred’s Academy once again deserved a Good judgement, and to have this validation from Ofsted is really pleasing, most importantly for our students. This is their school, they are the most important people in the buildings and they make the academy what it is. I am delighted for them that they can feel so confident in their own school, and in the quality of education and support that they all receive here.’

Mr Holroyd was also quick to praise the sense of teamwork and hard effort that has resulted in the Ofsted judgement. ‘Since the time of the last inspection, the staff, governors and the Central Team at the Trust have worked with relentless focus, dedication and commitment on the key points for action from the last inspection. The inspectors were quick to recognise the significant improvements that have been achieved as a result of all this hard work in such a short space of time. I am fiercely proud of what the entire staff group, with the support of our wonderful students, has done to bring about this judgement. I sincerely hope that this will be very good news for Wantage, Grove and the wider community beyond, to reflect that – yet again – there is a very ‘Good’ school offering opportunity for all at the heart of the community.’

However, there is no ‘resting on laurels’ at the academy. Plans to make further strategic improvements in response to the points for action are already in hand to secure King Alfred’s further development and future success in the next inspection to come.

Richard Evans, the Vale Academy Trust’s Chief Executive, summed up: “This is a wonderful achievement. The Trust and its Board are very proud of the turnaround achieved through the immense efforts of Rick Holroyd and his team. Everyone at KA’s is to be congratulated on this result that confirms that the academy is now providing an excellent education for its students – the goal we aspire to for every school in the Trust.”