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Relentless improvement puts school top of class

CELEBRATION: Castleford Academy Ofsted.
CELEBRATION: Castleford Academy Ofsted.

The education watchdog has praised the ‘relentless’ commitment to improving teaching at Castleford Academy in its latest inspection.

Ofsted said the school was “good” and headteacher George Panayiotou is now looking to make the jump up to “outstanding” by its next inspection.

In a letter to the Mr Panayiotou, Ofsted said: “You and your associate headteacher are relentless about improving the school and the quality of education provided. You focus on the needs of the pupils, students, and the local community and provide an education which meets those needs.

“As a result, since the last inspection, attendance has risen and the progress made by all pupils and students has improved even further.

“At the last inspection, you were asked to close the gaps between the achievement of disadvantaged pupils and that of their peers.

“In 2017, disadvantaged pupils made considerably more progress than other pupils nationally.

“You have honestly and openly reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of the 
school. As a result, you have in place highly comprehensive development plans.”

After publication of the report, Mr Panayiotou said: “We value that the inspectors could see the strong practice across the school, the significant improvement since our last inspection, the impeccable behaviour and attitude to learning of our students and the fantastic work of our community.

“I would like to take this opportunity of publicly thanking all pupils, staff, parents and governors for their dedication and support of the school.

“This achievement is particularly impressive given the challenges schools face and the volatility in the recent changes to exam series.

“The school continues to improve, evidenced from the achievements in a range of academic, sporting and cultural areas within the academy.”

Ofsted said to further improve and become “outstanding” the school must make sure it puts into practice its new plans for its sixth form.

It said work must also continue to reduce the difference in progress made by boys and girls in English.

The school will now return to standard two-day inspections, known as section 5 inspections, from Ofsted.

The watchdog’s letter to headteacher said the change “may indicate that the school has improved significantly overall”.