They’re jumping for joy at Waterloo Primary Academy after an Ofsted inspection rated the school as good with outstanding features despite concerns over its academy status.
The school on Waterloo Road, Blackpool, has maintained and built on its last inspection score of ‘good’ in the face of criticism over its decision to become an independent academy.
Principal Mark Gray said though they had faced opposition from unions and the council when they converted in 2012 the rating confirmed his belief the “brave” move was “the right way”.
Unions warned it could leave it without “a vital source of support” from the council.
But school bosses have said it has allowed them to spend “extra money” on teaching staff and introduce unique sports programmes.
Mr Gray told The Gazette: “We are absolutely delighted with the report. It’s a fantastic achievement and I’m immensely proud.
“Converting was viewed upon as foolhardy by some but we’ve been proved right.
“The brave decisions taken to become an independent academy, extend the school day, introduce a full sports and outdoor programme and spend extra money on additional teaching staff have been more than justified.”
The school converted to academy status in August 2012, taking it out of local authority control and allowing it to manage its own resources and finances while still funded by the Department for Education.
The school took on three extra staff to support literacy last year, as well as a specialist teacher for maths.
The Ofsted report, released today, outlines good aspects across the school, in pupil attainment, behaviour and safety of pupils and quality of teaching and highlights its leadership and management as outstanding. Key points include: > Lessons are fun and pupils have a joy of learning. > Teaching is good. Interesting and stimulating lessons motivate pupils. > Very effective leadership gets the best out of staff. The academy has 672 pupils, including twice the national average of children eligible for pupil premium, extra funding for youngsters in care or on free school meals, as well as an above average number of pupils with special needs.