Teachers are ‘visionary’ at Blackpool school

Left to right: Abbie Vesey, assistant  principal Beth Latham, and Sean Precious
Left to right: Abbie Vesey, assistant principal Beth Latham, and Sean Precious

Blackpool’s only school for both primary and secondary students is making ‘effective progress’, according to watchdogs.

Staff at Unity Academy, in Warbreck Hill Road in North Shore, has been praised by education watchdog Ofsted for their ‘extremely hard work’ to improve the school’s fortunes.

It shows if you have good leaders, good teachers, and a hard-working team what can be done in such a short period of time

Inspector Janet Palmer said teaching and results have improved, as have behaviour and pupil’s safety.

The number of reported bullying incidents is down along with students being suspended, while attendance is up.

Principal Chris Lickiss said: “Staff and students continue to work hard together and it’s great to have the work we see on a daily basis validated by Ofsted.”

Ms Palmer said staff were now benefiting from being part of the Fylde Coast Academy Trust, which also lists Aspire, Montgomery, and Hambleton Primary among its schools.

She said: “Senior leadership is very strong. The team is visionary, highly-motivated, and understand fully what steps need to be taken to move forward. Lessons are now more challenging, interesting, and fun.”

To continue improving, Unity should work on its development plan and make sure youngsters in Years Nine, 10 and 11 understand how to protect themselves in everyday dangers, Ms Palmer added.

Blackpool Council’s schools boss, Coun John Jones, said: “I’m really pleased the follow-up inspection has gone well.

“It shows if you have good leaders, good teachers, and a hard-working team what can be done in such a short period of time.”

Unity’s ‘outstanding’ nursery hailed in separate inspection

Dance classes, its own allotments and even yoga sessions impressed inspectors who gave Unity’s nursery the best mark possible earlier this year.

Staff were hailed as ‘passionate’ and the children as ‘confident’ by Ofsted.

The nursery, within the school grounds on Warbreck Hill Road, North Shore, caters for 60 children, who can then move up to the academy’s primary school.

The facility was given a £200,000 makeover, which was shown off in October, including a state-of-the-art multi-sensory room, dedicated wet room, and special ‘nurture room’ with soft ramps, tunnels, parapets, an array of puzzles, and mirrors.

Mr Lickiss said: “It’s not a nursery stuck on a primary school, it’s completely integrated.”