A TEESSIDE Academy, which has undergone a major transformation, is celebrating after receiving a glowing report from inspectors.

Jubilant staff and students at St Michael’s Catholic Academy won high praise from schools’ inspectorate Ofsted who rated its overall effectiveness as good.

St Michael’s, which was given notice to improve in April 2012, has since seen a series of radical changes including becoming part of the prestigious Carmel Education Trust, appointing a new Principal and senior leadership team and moving into a new multi-million pound, state of the art building.

Principal Andrew Ramsey, who joined the Academy in 2013, said: “It has been very challenging at times, but always superbly rewarding, and I am absolutely euphoric with the inspectors’ report and what it means for our community.

“So much of the work of the Academy has been good and better, but it is truly wonderful to have a strong Ofsted judgment, and those five words at the beginning of the inspectors’ report, ‘this is a good school’, are a real vindication of the hard work, commitment and dedication of all of our students, staff, parents, directors, governors and members of the local community who make up the St Michael’s family.

“However, there is still more to do to achieve our hopes and dreams. We are now at the beginning of our next journey. This moment is really a fantastic time for our Academy.”

Ofsted inspectors highlighted:

  • The strong and determined leadership shown by the Principal has led to strong gains across the Academy
  • Students’ personal development and welfare is outstanding. Safeguarding is highly effective across the Academy
  • Staff morale is high, the Academy is a harmonious community, and leadership at all levels is strong, as the Principal has developed a strong culture of high expectations
  • Teaching is consistently good and better with the vast majority of students learning well and making good progress
  • Students’ behaviour is good and they are exceptionally well-mannered, welcoming and move from lesson to lesson in a calm and orderly way.
  • Students feel very safe in the Academy and exceptionally well-cared for. They have total confidence in staff to help them and to listen to them.
  • The support from Academy governors and the high-quality advice received from the Chief Executive Officer, specialist consultants, practitioners and schools within the Carmel Education Trust
  • Parents are unequivocally enthusiastic and supportive of the Academy’s work and of how much the Academy has changed for the better.

Mr Ramsey said: “From day one, my priority was to make St Michael’s an Academy of excellence but just as important was to make it a place of kindness and understanding, in order to ensure that our young people learn the values of truth, justice and compassion, as well as the life skills to make good choices in the future.”

Carmel Education Trust Chief Executive Maura Regan OBE added: “This is definitely time to celebrate what is an incredible achievement. Our ambition now is to aim for an even higher standard, working together towards an outstanding judgment.”

The inspectors’ report sets out next steps for the Academy to improve standards further, with a future inspection likely to take place in 2020.

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