A SCHOOL has been praised for making significant improvements after a recent visit by Ofsted took the school out of special measures for the first time in nearly a decade.

The last time St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Academy (SEACA), on Cumber Lane, received an Ofsted outcome that wasn’t Inadequate was in 2015.

This time, however, inspectors found that the school, with the support of the Pope Francis Catholic Multi Academy Trust, has taken “effective action to address a legacy of weaknesses”.

As a result, inspectors noted that the school is “ambitious” for pupils, and it is raising both “expectations of how pupils behave” and “pupils’ aspirations”.

In addition, the report notes that SEACA has “prioritised pupils’ development” and Ofsted praised the fact that “an increasing number of pupils benefit from a variety of extra-curricular activities”.

The school has now moved to Requiring Improvement in all judgement areas.

Lee Peachey, Headteacher, said: “This is one of those milestone moments that our community should really celebrate.

“The fact that it has been the best part of a decade since our school was last graded as anything other than Inadequate really does speak volumes for the changes that needed to be made.

“Over recent times, but particularly since we joined the Trust, we have been systematically making the changes needed. It is because of the efforts of our whole community that there is much in the report that is a cause for celebration – and it is right that, after so effort and dedication, that we acknowledge what has been achieved.”

The inspectors also found that: “The school and the trust have taken action to improve the identification of the needs of pupils with SEND and “The personal, social and health education programme (PSHE) is well designed and frequently reviewed so that it meets the current needs of pupils in the school”.

It was also noted that “trustees and members of the local governing body know the school well and provide appropriate challenge and support to leaders”.

Mr Peachey added: “That being said, this is just a marker on the journey that we are on. The removal of our Inadequate grading gives us the platform to take everything to the next level. We will continue to address the areas we already knew needed further strengthening, and will use this report as the platform to continue on the very positive trajectory that we are progressing along.”

Andrew Dawson, CEO of the Pope Francis CMAT, said: “It is also important to reflect on the fact that underneath all of the strong comments about the school, there are two that are really comments to give you assurance about what happens next.

“Inspectors notes that the Trust has “strengthened the school’s capacity for improvement” and that together we “have wisely identified the priorities for improvement. They have thought carefully about the appropriate pace of change so that the improvements that they make can be sustained over the long term”.

“We are not going simply going for quick wins and superficial change. This is about ensuring that we are making a positive contribution not just to the education that our current cohort of brilliant pupils achieve, but also the education of children for generations to come.