Once failing school praised by inspectors after big turnaround

A Blackpool school has completed a triumphant turnaround after being rated ‘good’ by the education regulator Ofsted.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 3:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 3:28 pm
Children celebrate at Revoe Learning Academy

Revoe Learning Academy, in Grasmere Road, central Blackpool, was rated ‘inadequate’ and put into special measures in 2013 amid tales of badly-behaved pupils and a teacher who quit after locking a child in what was called a “time out room”.

The school escaped special measures to fanfare in 2016, when it was given a ‘requires improvement’ rating.

Now teachers and pupils have welcomed further improvements, with the school rated ‘good’ in all areas following a two-day visit last month.

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Children celebrate at Revoe Learning Academy

Headteacher Dayle Harrison, a former deputy who was brought back in five years ago to lead the transformation, said: “We are so delighted with the whole team effort from staff, governors, parents, and the local authority.

“Despite huge staff turnover and the legacy of historic poor teaching, we have built up a team and an ethos which places the child at the heart of everything we do.

“We feel hugely proud and also determined to make further improvements so that we become outstanding.”

The report, by a team of three inspectors, described Mr Harrison, as a “strong and determined leader”. It also praised teachers for their efforts, youngsters for their behaviour, and the progress made – with results improving year-on-year.

The report said: “The rich and varied curriculum provided at Revoe develops pupils’ creative and practical skills, as well as securing improvements in their academic achievement.

“Parents are rightly proud of how the school helps their children to be well-rounded citizens of the future. They are supportive of the changes made to the school in recent years, especially those that have improved pupils’ behaviour.”

Ofsted said the school, which has 492 children aged from two to 11, should aim to improve even further – with the top rank of ‘outstanding’ being its next target – by helping more children reach high standards in reading, writing and maths, and by providing challenging work for the most gifted pupils.

It should also continue to work with parents to tackle truancy.