Principal: Mr Vic Maher
1002 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||135149|
|Local Authority||Telford and Wrekin|
|Inspection dates||11–12 November 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Rashida Sharif HMI|
|Type of school||Academy|
|Age range of pupils||11–16|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||841|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr C E Tonks|
|Headteacher||Mr V Maher|
|Date of previous school inspection||9 December 2008|
|School address||Castlefields Way|
|Telephone number||01952 527700|
|Fax number||01952 525303|
|Inspection dates||11–12 November 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by two of Her Majesty's Inspectors and three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 36 lessons, and held meetings with the headteacher, senior leadership team, a range of staff and students, the chair of governors and three other members of the governing body. They observed the school's work, looked at the academy's self-evaluation and development plan, policies and procedures and students' work and analysed 209 parental questionnaires as well as questionnaires from students and staff.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
The academy was opened on the site of its predecessor school in April 2007. It moved into a new purpose built academy, for students aged 11-16 years, in September 2009. It is a popular and rapidly growing academy.
The proportion of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those with a statement of special educational needs, is well above the national average. The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is also well above the national average. The proportion of students from minority ethnic groups and of those for whom English is an additional language remains below the national average but is beginning to increase. The academy has specialist Sports Status and Healthy Schools and Business Partnership awards.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
Madeley is an outstanding academy that helps its students make exceptional levels of progress and ensures they are well prepared for the next stage of their life. This is because the outstanding leaders of the academy know precisely what needs to be done to ensure students get the best possible start to life. The highly aspirational targets help engender a spirit in both the students and staff alike to achieve the best they can. The academy takes every measure possible to ensure that no students are left behind, irrespective of their ability. The strong message from parents of what the academy is trying to do for their children is indicated in their high regard. As one parent wrote, 'The academy is the best thing that could happen in this area'. These and many other comments in the response to parental questionnaire demonstrate the overwhelming support for the academy as a place that is safe, high performing and where their children enjoy attending.
The curriculum is broad and innovative. The flexible curriculum pathways, including an increasing range of vocational options, enable students to develop their strengths, aptitudes and interests. Extension and enrichment activities are excellent and capitalise on the academy's sports specialism. Expectations of students' involvement and participation are high. Students contribute outstandingly well to the community in a variety of ways as, for example, prefects, mentors and ambassadors. Success in all aspects of life at the academy is widely celebrated in classrooms and around the corridors and, as a result, students grow in confidence and self-esteem. There is a productive partnership between staff, students, parents, the local community and industry. The academy acknowledges, however, that their students would benefit from having a greater awareness and understanding of the global community.
Students overall make excellent progress. Standards have continued to rise because of the excellent tracking systems which accurately identify the needs of individual students. This information is used consistently by all teachers to plan their lessons to ensure that the needs of individual students are fully met through challenging and aspirational targets which are continuously reviewed. However, the leadership team agree with inspectors that boys' overall achievement, particularly in literacy, could be improved even more through building on the best practice in teaching that already exists and by providing targeted support for supporting boys' literacy in the curriculum.
Central to this highly successful academy are the outstanding leadership and management. The headteacher leads from the front with a clear vision, ambitious plans and high expectations of all those involved. His creative and sometimes innovative style has forged a cohesive leadership team that is unremitting in its determination to raise performance and does not flinch from giving tough messages. The academy's capacity for sustained improvement is outstanding. The leaders' uncompromising approach to helping all students thrive, irrespective of their starting points, is exemplified in the sustained and improving results year on year. The passion among staff at all levels for excellence remains ignited because the leaders, including governors, have successfully communicated a very clear agenda for the academy becoming an even better beacon of excellence in education.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Overall, students start at the academy with exceptionally low standards and make outstanding progress. In 2008 the progress made by students was in the top one percent of all schools nationally and there are clear indications that this will remain at or close to this high level following the 2009 results. This is evident in both English and mathematics, with progress in mathematics being particularly strong. Although the academy is too new to have a three year trend of progress, its own analysis shows that the rate of improvement is rapid from the predecessor school. Analysis of the 2009 unvalidated results is good, with a record 96% students achieving five or more GCSE grades A* - C. This is a considerable achievement given standards of literacy on entry. Similarly, work evident in students' books, particularly mathematics and some foundations subjects, such as creative arts, show equally higher levels of attainment and an increasing focus on challenging activities that are raising levels of students' and teachers' expectation. The academy recognises that boys' literacy skills remain a barrier to higher attainment for some students although the gap between the performance of boys and girls is now beginning to close. Excellent teaching and assessment data to monitor progress are used unrelentingly to inspire students to learn. The academy is highly effective in helping vulnerable students to exceed expected standards for their groups nationally, as those, for example, with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
Although students' behaviour is good they have excellent attitudes to their work which contribute significantly to their outstanding progress. Students are generally considerate of each other and relationships between staff and students and between students are warm and supportive. The students demonstrate a sense of strong moral values. They show respect for others and value cultural and religious diversity, as demonstrated in their attitudes in books and around the school, particularly in the arts. The students say that they feel safe and secure and support very much the 'zero tolerance' policy against bullying and racism.
The academy's sports specialism and lunch facilities contribute significantly to students' excellent attitude to adopting healthy lifestyles with many also choosing to walk from home. Students play an active and responsible part in the academy and the wider community, for example through their roles as prefects and mentors. Mixed aged tutor groups also enable students of all ages to mix together; this arrangement contributes significantly to their personal and social education and developing insights into citizenship. The Eco club has led to the establishment of an allotment in partnership with the Allotment Association. In this and many other aspects, the academy's outstanding provision and ethos are used very well to develop mature and articulate young people for the 21st century.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which pupils feel safe||1|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||1|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||1|
|The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||1|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
Excellent subject knowledge, outstanding teaching overall and relationships with students ensure that students learn in an extremely well-ordered and stimulating environment which fully engages them. Teachers at all levels are highly committed to their students, have high expectations and help them achieve challenging targets. This is done through lessons that are highly structured which build on prior learning and include milestones to assess students' progress. The exemplary assessment information provided by the senior team on individual students is the real strength of the academy. This information is used consistently by teachers to support and monitor the progress that the individual students make and prevent any underachievement. In the best lessons seen, management of lessons, stimulating environment and relationships with students ensured that the pace was fast and students were engaged. Resources such as information and communication technology are used as highly effective learning tools. A further feature is the skilful use of questions to develop students' thinking and reasoning skills. This provides teachers with valuable information about students' understanding so that they can be challenged even further. Although the support provided by the learning assistants is good it is not always sufficiently targeted at students in most needs, for example boy's literacy. The academy acknowledges that more students, particularly boys, could improve their performance further. Detailed and evaluative marking of students' work provides them with an accurate evaluation of what they have done well and what they need to do to further improve their work.
The excellent curriculum contributes significantly to broadening students' skills, knowledge and understanding of the world of work. The academy continually refines its curriculum to ensure that it meets the needs of the wide ability range and learning styles of its students. Vocational courses are selected with care and are very relevant and popular with students to help them achieve their full potential and aspirations. The curriculum is arranged so that students in Year 9 have the opportunity to study for qualifications that ordinarily would be started in Year 10 and some high ability students have the opportunity to study at higher levels. Similarly those students who require additional support with literacy in Years 7 and 8 receive it from carefully tailored sessions. There is a growing range of vocational pathways. Some of these are offered in the academy's impressive, purpose-built, expanding facilities. Others are accessed through the very good partnership with local institutions, who also benefit from the academy's facilities.
Exemplary care, guidance and support pervade all aspects of the academy's provision. The students are well known by staff and the close attention to their pastoral and academic needs is maintained from the start of induction in Year 6 through to the time they go on to post 16 provision. Students speak highly of the very high quality support, which they say is based on their individual interests, personal and academic needs.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||1|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||1|
The strong and charismatic leadership of the headteacher has united and inspired staff at all levels. He provides a clear direction and a well-focused commitment to achieving the best for all students. The headteacher is supported by a vibrant senior leadership team who share his vision for the future. This team shows a high level of professionalism and integrity which is evident in their decision making. Self-evaluation and improvement planning is thorough and focused systematically on achieving the academy's goals for its students. Any shortfalls are investigated thoroughly and effective improvements are put in place. Staff at all levels are fully involved in the monitoring and review of their areas of responsibility and in formulating and implementing appropriate actions to bring about further improvements. The clear lines of communication and accountability make an excellent contribution to the achievement of the very high standard of care. This provides a firm foundation to support the academy's outstanding capacity to improve. The academy has established excellent links with a wide range of partners. Although there is a very strong culture of equality and opportunity which permeates all aspects of provision, boys continue to perform less well than girls.
One of the academy's outstanding strengths lies in the cohesive community which leads to all staff, students, parents and governors working together as a team. The evaluation is rigorous and builds on the identified strengths. At this stage, the academy knows that further analysis will contribute to sharpening its plans to develop community cohesion.
Governors are astute and very well informed. They challenge the academy's work through regular visits and meetings with staff at all levels. They regularly monitor the academy's analysis of data, and receive direct reporting from leaders and managers at all levels. Procedures to ensure students' safety are robust. Planning for improvement is extensive so that their students continue to receive the best there is to offer.
Clear safeguarding policies and procedures are in place and meet government requirements. However, the academy goes that extra mile to make sure that vulnerable students receiving support from their external partners continue to be monitored to ensure that their needs are fully met. The academy deploys its resources well and provides excellent value for money.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||1|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||1|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||2|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||1|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||1|
The parents of over a quarter of students responded to the Ofsted questionnaire. The vast majority were overwhelmingly positive and supportive of the academy's work. Many praised specific aspects of the academy's work, including the care and support offered to them and their children particularly those with special education needs and/or disabilities. All respondents stated that their children were happy, well cared for and enjoyed attending the academy despite the distance some had to travel.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Madeley Academy to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school. The Inspection team received 209 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 841 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||165||58||116||41||4||1||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||166||58||117||41||2||1||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||134||47||138||48||6||2||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||135||47||145||51||0||0||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||155||54||125||44||0||0||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||129||45||149||52||3||1||1||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||139||49||142||50||0||0||0||0|
|The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)||151||53||128||45||0||0||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||140||49||139||49||0||0||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||156||55||125||44||0||0||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||135||47||140||49||1||0||1||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||181||64||100||35||0||0||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||180||63||103||36||0||0||0||0|
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.|
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.|
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.|
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.|
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.
|Capacity to improve:|
the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.
|Leadership and management:|
the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.
the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their attainment when they started.
13 November 2009
Inspection of Madeley Academy, Madeley, TGF7 5DZ
Thank you for your warm welcome when we inspected your academy recently. We spoke to a good number of you, in lessons, in meetings, or around the academy. We were all impressed with your openness, friendliness and self-confidence. We were also impressed with how well you are doing because of the outstanding education you receive. You told us that feel very safe and well cared for as well as being very proud of your academy. We found that you make exceptional progress in your learning because of the excellent teaching, support and guidance that you receive. We found the curriculum to be innovative, ensuring that your individual interests, ambitions and needs are well catered for. Some of you told us how much you are looking forward to the on-site vocational centre being completed and expanded. To support you with your learning there are exceptional tracking assessment procedures to help everyone to achieve the very best they can. We thought that your behaviour was generally good as was your attendance. You told us how much you had been looking forward to moving into the new building and how much you enjoyed attending the academy. Many of you told us that felt you were very privileged to be there and how proud you were of staff who made this happen. You also appreciated the wide range of enrichment and extension activities there are for you. You particularly enjoyed being in the gym which encourages fitness and which has helped you to become more aware about healthy living.
Many of you play a big role in the life of the academy, for example, through being prefects, mentors and members of the Eco committee. Many of you are engaged in helping each other too, for example the vertical groupings where you mix with all ages and work together on developing your personal and social skills as well as wider skills for future citizenship.
All this is possible because of the outstanding leadership and management of the academy. The academy knows well its strengths and we agree with the leaders, including the governors, that more of you could gain the top grades. To help you do this, we have asked them to increase the number of outstanding lessons by providing work that closely matches your needs throughout the lessons particularly in literacy. We have also asked them to further develop your awareness and understanding of the global community. You can help the academy too, by all of you attending regularly, some of you behaving as well as the others and continuing to work as hard.
We wish all the very best for your future success in your new academy.
Her Majesty's Inspector
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|