Worksop: Victory for Outwood Academy Portland after school surges from failing to ‘outstanding’ in Ofsted report

Principal Phillip Smith with proud Portland pupils
Principal Phillip Smith with proud Portland pupils

Celebrations are underway at a once failing school in Worksop after it was found to be ‘Outstanding’ in a recent Ofsted inspection.

Outwood Academy Portland was praised for its exceptional leadership, teaching and GCSE results just two years after it was placed into ‘Special Measures’ by Ofsted and named one of the worst schools in the country.

And now the Value Added League Tables for 2013, which measures pupils’ progress from when they started at the school to their GCSE results, show that Portland is ranked 39 out on 6356 schools in England.

This makes Portland the highest performing school in Notts and Derbyshire.

Sir Michael Wilkins, academy principal and chief executive of the Outwood Grange Academies Trust, said that he was ‘delighted’ by the findings of the Ofsted report.

He said: “It is very rare for a school to move from ‘Special Measures’ to ‘Outstanding’ in such a short space of time.”

“It is a fitting testament to the commitment of students, staff, parents and governors that Portland should now be recognised as being an outstanding place of learning.”

The Ofsted report, among with many other highlights, stated that the principal’s leadership was ‘outstanding’, the teaching at the school was of a ‘consistently high quality’ and that students showed ‘consideration and courtesy to others.’

“The academy has a positive and caring atmosphere,” read the report. “The older students support the younger ones, which creates a ‘family feel’ to life across the academy.”

The report also noted that by the end of the Year 11 in 2013, the proportion of students gaining five GCSE grades A*-C was considerably above the national average.

“The academy’s rigorous tracking of students’ progress indicates that this standard is being maintained,” the report added.

Dr Phillip Smith, school principal, said: “ I am extremely proud of the students, staff and the wider academy community for supporting the academy in a number of significant changes over the last two years.”

“These changes have now come to full fruition and the academy has, quite rightly, been recognised as being ‘Outstanding’ in every area.”

“We expect to improve on our already amazing results in the coming year.”

The two other academies in the trust, Outwood Valley and Outwood Post 16, also triumphed after receiving ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ results in the inspection.

Sir Michael Wilkins added: “I am delighted that, at last, the children of Worksop are receiving the standard of education they deserve.”

“Two years ago parents could choose between two schools in Ofsted categories of ‘Special Measures’ and ‘Notice to Improve’, and now all children can receive good and outstanding education without leaving Worksop.”

“We expect both academies and the Post 16 Centre to continue to go from strength to strength under the outstanding leadership of their three Principals,”