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"Ambitious" Fallings Park academy rated Good by Ofsted

A primary school with an "ambitious improvement agenda" has been rated Good by Ofsted.

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Inspector Patrick Amieli visited St Mary's Catholic Primary Academy in Fallings Park last month and found the leadership team had maintained the good quality of education provided at the Cannock Road school since its last inspection in 2012.

Vicky Minihane, who was appointed as Head of School in 2016, has "led with determination the implementation of an ambitious improvement agenda", successfully managing the expansion of St Mary's to become a 2 form entry school last year and providing its new teachers with "effective support and training to ensure that the quality of teaching is maintained to a high standard".

The inspector also praises the "hard working" senior and middle managers at the school, part of the Pope John XXIII Multi Academy Company, and said the strategic support of the governors contributes effectively to the evaluation of the actions being taken to improve the school.

There is a "strong sense of community" at St Mary's. Pupils are "very well behaved" and enjoy a "pleasant and orderly environment. They are very positive about their school life". Pupils come from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures, and the "inclusive ethos" of the school and the values upheld by the staff helps create "a highly cohesive community".

The school has taken a number of actions to improve outcomes at Key Stage 1 and 2, and pupils are making "good progress" from their starting points. Attainment and progress in writing is above the national average, and there is a "clear momentum to develop reading skills", with the school having joined a City of Wolverhampton Council reading project, which sees staff work with a council adviser to improve the impact of their teaching.

St Mary's is also working hard to ensure that all pupils attend school regularly, with rewards for good attendance. The school is also "proactive in helping pupils get to school every morning", running a minibus service for some pupils who have issues with attendance.

Mrs Minihane said: "We are delighted with the outcome of our recent Ofsted inspection and this is a result of the hard work and high aspirations of our pupils, staff and governors.

"I would also like to thank our parents and our wider school community, especially the staff at our feeder secondary school - Our Lady and St Chad - for their continued support and dedication to all pupils in our Multi Academy Company."

Councillor Claire Darke, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, said: "I would like to congratulate Vicky Minihane and her leadership team, teachers, governors and support staff, and of course parents and pupils, on this positive inspection report which showcases the good work which is taking place at St Mary's Catholic Primary Academy."

Some 89% of schools in Wolverhampton are now rated either Good or Outstanding by Ofsted, the highest ever. To find out more about education in Wolverhampton, please visit Education & schools.

  • released: Wednesday 14 February, 2018