Taunton Academy progress 'will speed up'

Somerset County Gazette: Principal Mark Trusson. Principal Mark Trusson.

WORK to improve standards at Taunton Academy is ongoing, school leaders have promised.

An inspection of the school, off Cheddon Road, highlighted that ‘the rate of improvement towards the removal of the serious weakness designation plan has accelerated’ but said more must be done.

Peter Avery, chair of the achievement and teaching committee, said he was pleased improvement had been recognised but disappointed that Ofsted had judged their progress to be too slow.

He added: “The staff have made very extensive changes to the teaching and learning arrangements and, as more of these become embedded, the rate of improvement will increase. The Academy is making progress and this report will further stimulate its efforts.”

The original Ofsted inspection was in February when the school was split across the old Ladymead and St Augustine of Canterbury School sites.

But Taunton Academy says a raft a changes including a science block and an £11million revamp of facilities will ensure progress is made quickly.

They also say steps have been taken by the joint sponsors of the school – the Diocese of Bath and Wells and Somerset County Council – to ensure the statement of action for the Academy is ‘fit for purpose’.

Principal Mark Trusson said: “I can reassure parents that we are making progress, and we will redouble our efforts to meet the expectations Ofsted have in us. Indeed, levels of attainment and improvement in many areas of the curriculum are well above the national average.

“However, we know that our results in English were below expectations last academic year and became the focus of the Ofsted report, despite the inspection not reflecting the changes in grade boundaries and assessments that negatively affected many schools across the country with similar catchments to ours.

“While this has been valuable in highlighting how, in particular, we need to help those students who are eligible for free school meals to get better results in English, Ofsted states that we are ‘now tracking the performance of students very assiduously’.”

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