Wakefield City Academies Trust praised for improving three schools

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Ofsted has praised an academy trust for helping to improve three struggling schools in the district.

Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) was recognised for improving Havercroft Academy and Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy by a grade to requires improvement.

Alan Yellup executive head at Wakefield City Academy has received an OBE.

Alan Yellup executive head at Wakefield City Academy has received an OBE.

And West End Academy was rated as good with outstanding features by inspectors in May.

All three of their predecessor schools were judged to be inadequate last year.

Ofsted praised the trust for making a “positive difference to the quality of provision and outcomes for pupils within its academies.”

The trust’s chief executive Alan Yellup said: “The report is a huge vote of confidence in what we are doing.

“We knew we were on the right track as we monitor the progress of each of our academies and it is a credit to everybody involved in helping turn our academies around.”

Mr Yellup said all three schools in Hemsworth had made tremendous strides since becoming academies.

He said: “Schools which had been failing their communities are now being held up as examples of good and outstanding practice.

“Children in those communities are being given better life chances as a result.”

The Ofsted report praised the trust for “articulating its vision across its family of academies very successfully.”

And inspectors said it had helped raise staff morale and improved achievement levels.

WCAT was developed from the Wakefield City High School, which was rated as outstanding at each of its last three inspections.

The school became an academy in January 2011 and was chosen as a sponsor by the Department for Education.

WCAT became a multi-academy trust in 2013 and has academies in Wakefield, Doncaster and Sheffield.