Nansen and Rockwood celebrate as Ofsted rates them ‘good’

Nansen Primary and Rockwood Academy are celebrating after they have each been removed from special measures and rated ‘good’ by education watchdog Ofsted.

The incredible turnaround comes after the schools were deemed ‘inadequate’ when they each received their last full inspection in April 2014.

Since then, both schools have appointed new head teachers, senior leadership teams, governing bodies, and academy sponsor CORE Education Trust.

They have each undergone a series of five monitoring inspections since they were placed in special measures and last month Ofsted carried out its first full inspection of both schools in almost two years.

Inspectors were left impressed by the efforts made by all to transform the education being provided to Nansen’s 930 pupils aged three to 11 and Rockwood’s 590 pupils aged 11 to 16.

Ofsted has now rated both schools as ‘good’ overall and in every category they were inspected – including pupil outcomes; quality of teaching; and effectiveness of leadership and management.

For Nansen, it is the best overall rating the school has ever received from Ofsted in its entire 90-year history.

Headteacher Cath Rindl said: “This is incredible news and testament to the hard work of all those involved in the running of Nansen – from the committed teaching staff, governors and everyone at the Trust who place the children at the centre of everything they do.
It has been both a challenging yet exciting time working to secure the school’s transformation with the guidance of Ofsted.
We are lucky to have been given such fantastic support from our pupils’ parents and the wider community to help us sail through what has been a turbulent time to secure a much calmer and successful future.
And we do not want to stop at ‘good’ – my aim is to create an outstanding academy, which will be one of Birmingham’s top performing primaries.

In its report Ofsted praised Mrs Rindl as “an excellent leader” and “highly ambitious”.

The report adds: “Staff, governors and trustees are vigilant in protecting children from radicalisation, extremism and child exploitation.
British values are promoted effectively. Pupils are caring, respectful and tolerant.
Pupils feel safe, cared for and very proud of their school.

Meanwhile, Rockwood Academy was praised for its “pioneering” work with external organisations to promote British values – including a scheme which has seen both academies becoming a School of Tennis in an initiative by the Lawn Tennis Association.

Rockwood Academy’s Principal Fuzel Choudhury said: “Since the day I stepped foot across the threshold of this academy my sole drive has been to improve the education of our pupils – they are what it is all about.
My approach has been relentless and I have been heartened by how staff, parents and pupils alike have embraced and shared my passion for positive change.
It has undoubtedly been a time of challenge and the journey is not over yet.
We will continue to drive forward until this academy is the outstanding school I know it has the capacity to be.

Mr Choudhury was praised by Ofsted for his “passion and determination” which had “brought about rapid and considerable improvements to the quality of education.

The report continues: “Robust structures are in place to make certain that governors and leaders operate with transparency and act in the best interests of pupils.
As a result, the Trust has ensured that the academy is protected against the systematic failures of the past.

The report adds: “Extensive work to embed the ‘Prevent’ agenda has been supplemented by pioneering projects and a carefully planned curriculum to raise staff and pupils’ awareness of the dangers of radicalisation and extremism.
Pupils are taught to keep safe; fundamental British values are promoted highly effectively.

Meanwhile, in both reports Ofsted also applauded the work of CORE Education Trust’s CEO Adrian Packer, saying he was “instrumental in reshaping the culture and ethos” of the academies.

Mr Packer said: “This is an extraordinary achievement and one that each and every member of both schools and the community they serve should be proud of.
The fact that such a turnaround has taken place for both schools in such a short period of time is a remarkable achievement and testament to the hard work of our governors, teaching staff and our highly skilled head teachers.
To know that we have changed the face of education for our pupils and are setting them on a path to a successful future is what continues to drive us to improve.

Download the Rockwood report HERE.

Download the Nansen report HERE.