A Wolverhampton school where staff are “galvanised” by the principal’s “ambitious vision” has been praised after achieving a Good Ofsted rating.

Inspectors judged Ormiston NEW Academy, in Fordhouses, to be Good in each of the 5 inspection areas, including the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and 6th form provision.

Leaders are "taking the right steps, in the right order, to secure improvements for the school", with inspectors praising them for creating a “culture where positive behaviour and discipline are celebrated”. 

NEW Academy, which is part of the Ormiston Academies Trust, is a “vibrant school”, that students “enjoy coming to” and where they are “safe”. Students "understand that they must try their best and strive for excellence at all times", while leaders are "quick to identify pupils who have additional needs", enabling them to make "strong progress".

Leaders “have designed an ambitious curriculum" and the "knowledge that pupils learn builds effectively upon the things they already know", with the school making good use of assessments to check pupils have understood what they have been taught. Inspectors also noted a culture of reading throughout the school, with pupils "developing a love of reading” and speaking with enthusiasm about the books they read.

Leaders’ work to encourage pupils’ personal development "is a strength of the school", with pupils able to take part in a growing range of activities outside of the classroom and given valuable information about the world of work.
Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: "This is a very positive report which highlights excellent progress at Ormiston NEW Academy thanks to the strong leadership of Principal Craig Cooling and his team, and I would like to congratulate everyone involved on achieving this Good outcome.

“Mr Cooling showed me around the school and the transformation has been incredible. They have no intention of resting on their laurels, and I wish them the very best as they look to make further improvements in the months and years ahead.”

Mr Cooling, who has been principal since 2019, said he was "immensely proud" of the report. He added: "Magic happens in classrooms up and down the country every day but it doesn’t happen enough. I’m driven to create a school environment where magic happens in every corner of the school, it’ll continue when students go home and it’ll mature when they leave us and become fantastic, loved, happy members of society.

"We’ve worked hard all through the pandemic to ensure the best outcomes for our students in everything they do. The report also says that leaders are tenacious; we’re creating an environment where that tenacity flows through everyone. 

“I have an incredible staffing body here at NEW Academy and we aren’t settling for good, we continue to plan, evolve, grow and provide our young people with the best opportunities.”

The regional director at Ormiston Academies Trust, Paula Jones, added: “NEW Academy is a great school with wonderful students, supportive families, talented leaders and dedicated teachers and support staff. It is fantastic to see the school get the recognition it deserves following significant improvements.”