Leeds school to close today following Ofsted inspection

A Leeds school is to close for a staff training day today to address issues raised after a recent Ofsted inspection report was critical of past leadership and concluded the school 'requires improvement.'

PIC: Simon Hulme
PIC: Simon Hulme

An Ofsted report, which was compiled following an inspection between February 28 and March 1, said pupils at Leeds West Academy do not make consistently good progress and that leaders in the past had been “too slow to tackle poor teaching.”

The report adds: “Pupils do not show consistently positive attitudes to learning. They have too few opportunities to develop their thinking, apply their learning and engage in lessons.” The report adds: “Following the appointment of the executive principal and new senior leaders, there is a much stronger drive towards school improvement.”

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Andrew Whitaker, newly-appointed executive principal of The White Rose Academies Trust, said: “Our training day is a response to Ofsted’s findings and is part of a wider programme of school improvement, which includes recruiting teachers and leaders from top-rated schools to drive forward our 2020 vision for all academies in the White Rose trust to become outstanding.

Ben Wheeler, acting principal at Leeds West Academy, added: “I apologise for any inconvenience that this training day may cause, but hope that you understand the importance of responding to feedback from Ofsted.”

Christian Wilcocks has been appointed as the new principal at Leeds West Academy and will start work this summer. He said “It is my personal commitment to the students, parents and staff that under my leadership, Leeds West Academy will achieve its goal of becoming an outstanding academy within three years.”