Ofsted says work is underway to improve Dixon Kings free school - the former Kings Science Academy

Picture: PA Wire
Picture: PA Wire
Have your say

AN ACADEMY chain is working to improve the accuracy of assessments at one of Yorkshire’s first free schools, an Ofsted report has revealed.

Dixons Kings - formerly the Kings Science Academy - has been in the requires improvement category for the past two years since it was first inspected.

However inspectors now say senior leaders, governors and Dixons - which took over the Bradford school in January -are taking effective action to tackle areas requiring improvement.

In the latest inspection update it says work is underway by Dixons to “secure the accuracy of assessments” at the school.

It said: “This is both to ensure that measures of progress are correct and that teachers have a closer understanding of the levels at which students are working.”

The report says there is at present a “mismatch between the academy’s view of the quality of teaching and the measures of students’ progress”.

The Kings Science Academy was one of the first 24 free schools to open in the country in 2011 and was visited and praised by Prime Minister David Cameron the following year.

However in early 2013 its first Ofsted inspection found that it required improvement. Later that year it became engulfed in scandal after a Department for Education audit report was leaked which contained allegations of fraud. A West Yorkshire Police investigation was launched after the leak and three former members of staff have since been charged including the school’s founder and former principal Sajid Raza. In January of this year Dixons - an established academy chain in Bradford - took over as lead sponsor of the school resulting in it changing its name to Dixons Kings.

Now a new inspection report has praised the work being carried out at Dixons Kings. It says a whole school approach to marking and feedback has been introduced. It also says that the chain is providing help to ensure students with special educational needs are correctly identified.

* Mr Raza, former head of department Shabana Hussain, 38, and former finance director Daud Khan, 43, have been charged with fraud offences. A trial is due to take place next June.