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Surprise OFSTED call praises LPA


We received a surprise phone call from OFSTED yesterday. Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of OFSTED, releases his annual report on the state of England's schools tomorrow. OFSTED are conscious that the national press often pick on any negative aspects rather than any improvements that have been identified, and that local press often ignore it because, as no individual schools are identified by name, it's hard to find a local angle. Hence this year they have decided to pick out two schools in each of the 9 government regions (us being South West), to highlight to the press as schools that did exceptionally well in the 2013/14 academic year. Obviously we're delighted to have been picked as one of only two schools in the South West and one of only eighteen nationally.

I think it's a great boost for our hardworking and talented staff and after a very demanding but successful year. It's also recognition of the extremely positive work ethic that we have fostered in our student body. The key achievements in 2013/14 were:

  • in January, having an OFSTED inspection at only 12 hours notice, keeping our 'good school' rating despite being the first school in the area to be inspected under a new toughened regime,
  • gaining our best ever GCSE results in the summer (for the fourth time in five years) and gaining results that were well above (9% higher) the national level, even though this cohort of pupils were slightly below the national average when they left primary schools
  • in the government's national analysis, which was released last Friday morning, Lydiard Park Academy pupils are shown to have made exceptional progress over their five years in the school. Our progress ratings suggest we are now firmly in the top 20% of schools nationally,
  • in September we opened a new sixth form and now have students successfully completing AS levels, and able to stay at a school where they've done so well until the age of 18.

A bit of a Christmas present from OFSTED and further proof that Lydiard Park Academy is doing very well.

Mr. C. Zimmerman
Principal


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