Ofsted Section 8 inspection, 2018

“There is much to celebrate about the impact of leaders’ work. Staff morale is high and pupils are extremely positive about the school.”

In 2018, Ofsted visited the Archer Academy to carry out a Section 8 inspection. This is essentially a check-in to see whether we are continuing to deliver at the standard set at the previous inspection.

By law, a Section 8 can never lead to a change in grading, which can only happen after a full (Section 5) inspection. However, inspectors can note that the school has shown the potential to be upgraded. We are therefore delighted to confirm that we have received the best possible Section 8 outcome:

Outcome 2 – the school remains good and there is sufficient evidence of improved performance to suggest that the school may be judged outstanding if it received a Section 5 inspection now. The school will be informed that its next inspection will be a Section 5 inspection, which will typically take place within one to two years after the publication of the Section 8 short inspection report.

This news is a testament to the inspiration, leadership and pure hard work which the Archer Academy team have demonstrated, not just during Ofsted’s visits but day in, day out. Comments made by the inspectors include:

  “You and your staff have the highest expectations of yourselves and of pupils. Teachers and subject leaders make full use of the opportunities that you give them to develop their leadership and teaching skills. This has been one of the main reasons why the school shows such strong improvement. Subject leadership is a significant strength of the school.”

“Leaders have put in place a highly appropriate curriculum, including for most-able pupils. Subject leaders and teachers think carefully about how to organise subject content and how to challenge pupils in their thinking… One most-able pupil commented: ‘What this school does well is to challenge us.’ This view was echoed by many pupils.”

 “You and your leaders have an extremely clear understanding of how effectively you spend the additional funding for disadvantaged pupils. Leaders evaluate the impact of their chosen strategies carefully. They leave no stone unturned in looking at how to meet pupils’ needs.”

Our process for self-evaluation is both regular and robust, and this was also reinforced by the inspectors. They noted that we have already identified the areas in which we need to make further improvements, such as closing the gaps between some groups of students, and that we have strategies in place to tackle them.

We look forward to welcoming Ofsted back within the next two years for a full Section 5 inspection, and having the opportunity to demonstrate in more depth the exceptional nature of our school.

Read Ofsted’s letter here

Read Ofsted full inspection 2015 report here