Aspire Academy celebrates ‘Good’ Ofsted rating as result of collaboration with North Star Academy Trust

Aspire Academy in Bath has received a glowing Ofsted report following a recent inspection which dubbed all areas from leadership to the quality of education and behaviour as ‘Good’.

The report, published this week, emphasises how ‘pupils’ safety and welfare sit at the heart of the school’s work’, highlighting strong relationships between ‘skilled staff’ and pupils helping children recognise and express their emotions effectively.

“Pupils learn how to be enthusiastic and successful learners at this school,” says Inspector Marie Thomas in the full report. “For many pupils, this contrasts with their previous experience of education. Effective use of praise, encouragement and challenge means that individual pupils’ needs are well met.”

It’s been a challenging few years for Aspire Academy with several leadership changes, but the Department for Education last year appointed North Star Academy Trust to support Futura Learning Partnership to improve Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) provision at the school, which supports around 100 pupils aged 4 to 19 with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), most of whom have Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs.

North Star Academy Trust, which runs three SEND schools in Bristol, immediately appointed staff member Helen McDicken as Interim Headteacher to work with staff and pupils to improve things, and – just one year on – the school is now in a much stronger position to support children and young people in Bath with SEND and SEMH needs.

The report, which follows a two-day inspection in April, states that: “Significant changes to the school’s curriculum and behaviour expectations have had a substantial and positive impact on pupils’ development in a short time. The school has worked relentlessly to embed routines and raise expectations. This can be seen in the calm and purposeful learning environments”

“Increased expectations for pupils’ learning and behaviour are raising standards. The highly individualised curriculum ensures that pupils gain recognised qualifications before moving on to college or employment post-16” .

“It’s been an incredible team effort,” said Ms McDicken. “It’s great to see recognition for the work that has gone into getting Aspire Academy to where it is today. It’s not just the leadership team and teaching staff, but pupils and parents who’ve made this possible and we look forward to supporting more local families in the years to come.”

1st July 2024 Aspire Academy will become North Star 180° when it formally joins North Star Academy Trust.