A city school has been rated Good by Ofsted in its first inspection since becoming an academy.

Inspectors visited Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy in March and found the school to be very well led by Principal Toni Ellis.

They said Miss Ellis is ambitious for her 830 pupils while her vision for the school as a "demanding, inquisitive and resilient community is well understood by all staff, parents and pupils". The Academy "expects pupils and staff to show a genuine interest in learning".

A "hardworking and experienced" senior leadership team share Miss Ellis' ambitions for pupils in the school's care. They "have worked hard to improve teaching and to provide a good range of curriculum and extra curricular activities".

Pupils are "cared for and supported very well", enjoy coming to school, are well behaved and "make good progress during their time at the school"; they are taught well and achieve outcomes in line with their starting points.

Inspectors found the "positive relationships between teaching staff and pupils" to be a strength of the school, and commended the social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of pupils and the strong Catholic ethos which is reflected in respectful relationships.

The report praised the Academy's "... extensive extra-curricular programme that gives pupils good opportunities to experience cultural, artistic and sporting activities".

A regular training programme supports new and more established staff well. Inspectors found that good use is being made of links with other schools within the academy trust, and the support which is commissioned from the City of Wolverhampton Council, to improve the quality of teaching still further.

The sixth form also provides "a good education". Students are "well taught and achieve good results, particularly in applied and vocational courses. Their behaviour in lessons and around the school is excellent". The inspectors highlighted the way the school "raises aspirations for pupils. A very good programme of information, advice and guidance encourages pupils to aspire to ambitious but realistic career choices".

The governing body "discharges its responsibilities well", making effective use of management information to hold the school to account for pupils' performance. Governors have a good understanding of the school's strengths and weaknesses.

Inspectors also noted that a proposed expansion of the Academy is also underway to meet the growing demand for places.

Miss Ellis said: "Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy is delighted with the inspection report. We are fortunate to be supported by some fantastic staff, parents and students.

"As a team we remain relentless in our determination to continuously drive for excellence and are ambitious and excited for the future of the Academy as we continue to grow."

Councillor Claire Darke, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, said: "This is a very positive inspection of Our Lady and St Chad's Catholic Academy, which is thanks to the hard work of Toni Ellis and everyone associated with the school."

The inspection on 13 and 14 March was the first since the school converted to an academy.

  • released: Thursday 10 May, 2018