Leeds West Academy


Ofsted Inspection in Detail

Ofsted Report – Supporting our Programme for School Improvement

At Leeds West Academy, our aspiration is to be an outstanding school. We are aware that the journey to achieve this status takes time and that there are processes and developments which we must work through to reach our goal.

On Tuesday 28th February to Wednesday 1st March, Leeds West Academy was inspected by HM Office for Standards in Education. Following the result of this inspection, Ofsted highlighted a number of areas for improvement, many of which the school is already in the process of actioning. Click here for the full Ofsted Inspection Report for your information.

As an Academy, we are reassured that Ofsted’s judgments equaled those that leadership expressed through our own self-evaluation. As you may know, our outcomes in 2016 were unexpectedly disappointing, but not disheartening. Following the arrival of our new Executive Principal, Andrew Whitaker, the following September, historic deficiencies were quickly identified and a rapid programme for school improvement was put in place across the wider White Rose Academies Trust. This transformative process involves recruiting superlative leaders and teachers from outstanding schools across the United Kingdom. Following the arrival of the Ofsted team, the inspectors acknowledged our bold redevelopment and the impact that the revised leadership team are quickly achieving.  They also recognised the significant work of teachers and support staff across the Academy.

The Inspection Report highlights areas for development and improvement which the Academy is aware of and fully addressing.  It also details fields where the Academy is performing well and it is pleasing that these areas have been praised. This inspection has galvanized our determination to address areas of development, and we presently have strong evidence of the progressive impact made by our new teaching and learning strategies.

The Academy is currently making rapid progress and it is vital that this progression continues and is accelerated over time.  Rigorous assessment of progress and an effective programme of support and intervention will ensure that students achieve the highest grades they deserve, reaching their full potential during their time with us.

Excellent attendance is also an essential element of school improvement and we will continue to ensure students attend every lesson, on time, every time. We have markedly improved attendance this year and it is imperative that this continues to improve year on year. Parents/carers play a key role in ensuring excellent attendance and we look forward to working together to drive forward your child’s enthusiasm for learning, as a wider school community. The benefits of attending the Academy every day are clear; the more you attend, the more you achieve.

We will not waver from our ambition to be an outstanding Academy and this Inspection Report will help us to meticulously focus on school improvement and strive to provide your child with the very best education. We are concentrated on ensuring that we have an effective group of staff to work with our aspirational students; collaborating closely with other outstanding Academies within The Gorse Academies Trust to share good practice and make a positive, dramatic impact on teaching and learning.

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the very many positive things in the Inspection Report for Leeds West Academy:

  • “The new Executive Principal and Senior Leaders are ambitious in their plans to improve the school rapidly”
  • “Pupils’ progress in English and Mathematics is also improving”
  • “Pupils benefit from a wide variety of visits and extra-curricular activities”
  • “The school’s own surveys show that parents and carers are very supportive of the school”
  • “Governors are committed to raising standards”
  • “There is a positive safeguarding culture in the school because leaders make pupils’ safety a high priority”
  • “Pupils’ work is well presented”
  • “Many teachers know their pupils well and identify ways of supporting individuals to make better progress”
  • “The newly-appointed Senior Leaders in charge of teaching, learning and assessment have a very clear understanding of how to engage learners and to improve pupils’ progress”
  • “Pupils behave well around the school and show respect for each other”
  • “Pupils spoke highly of the school’s culture of respect for diversity and opportunities for them to develop their understanding of equality”
  • “They [pupils] said that the school does not accept any bullying and that any incidents are dealt with well by staff”
  • “Pupils attending off-site education are well looked after. Their teachers know them well and communicate any concerns to school leaders”
  • “Pupils said that they appreciate the support that their teachers and other adults provide for them”
  • “Relationships within the school are very positive”
  • “This year, leaders have tailored their strategies to meet the needs of individual pupils and, in Year 10, gaps in progress between disadvantaged pupils and other pupils nationally are diminishing”
  • “The school’s progress information shows that current pupils are now making better progress in most year groups”
  • “Pupils in Year 11 who attend off-site education are making better progress since starting their new courses”
  • “Disadvantaged learners made good progress overall and boys’ progress improved” (16-19 study programmes)
  • “Learners show positive attitudes towards their studies” (16-19 study programmes)

Finally, I wish to assure you that Leeds West Academy is an incredible school with outstanding potential. Our recent assessment is a starting point for us to reach our highest achievements of excellence. We are taking every student, staff and our wider community on a journey to outstanding and we are determined that, with your support, we will achieve our vision.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions on this or any other matter.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Wheeler

Acting Principal


Click here to download a PDF of the Ofsted Report.