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Ofsted’s praise completes remarkable transformation of The Victory Academy

Ofsted’s praise completes remarkable transformation of The Victory Academy

Staff and students celebrate Ofsted rating – just two years after school joining Thinking Schools Academy Trust.  Ofsted report highlights “strong leadership” and “a culture of ambition” across the school. The fantastic transformation of The Victory Academy since it joined The Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT) was today confirmed in a glowing Ofsted inspection report.

The Academy in Chatham achieved record GCSE results this summer, last week was ranked the top non-selective school in Medway by the Department for Education – and has now been rated Good by Ofsted to complete a brilliant hat-trick.

It means the school has made a remarkable turnaround since TSAT started as its sponsor and Mandy Gage became Principal just over two years ago. At the time the school, then called Bishop of Rochester Academy, had disappointing results and was rated Requires Improvement by Ofsted.

In today’s report, Ofsted inspectors said: “This is a rapidly improving school, due to strong leadership and effective support from TSAT.

“The Principal has clear vision, determination and a sense of direction. She has led the change towards a positive ethos and culture of learning throughout the school. The Principal and leadership team are determined to improve the life chances of all pupils.”

Teachers at the school were praised for being “enthusiastic and very hard working”, showing “strong subject knowledge” and teaching “in a lively manner to engage pupils.”

The Ofsted report also drew attention to the school’s high standards of student development and behaviour, as teachers “create an atmosphere in lessons that supports pupils to make good progress and show strong personal development.” Pupils “listen to teachers and each other respectfully” and “are confident to share their ideas.”

A number of other strengths were highlighted by Ofsted:

  • Achievement has risen, and the rate of pupils’ progress has “increased markedly”, leading to “higher outcomes”. This includes the progress of students from disadvantaged backgrounds – more than half (58%) of students are on free school meals.
  • Staff and pupils are proud of the school, and pupils’ behaviour is good, while safeguarding is “a real strength”.
  • The school “provides a secure and stimulating place for pupils to learn and develop”.
  • TSAT has “successfully recruited, developed and retained high-quality leaders, teachers and other staff” to the school.
  • The school is “ambitious” for its pupils, making frequent checks on their progress, and “effective interventions” are in place for those who need extra help to catch up.
  • The Victory Academy has “good opportunities to collaborate with other schools in TSAT”, including Holcombe Grammar School. “Pupils and teachers benefit from this engagement because good practice is shared”.

The Victory Academy, in Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, is a member of TSAT, a family of academies that runs high-performing schools in Portsmouth and Medway.

Mandy Gage, Principal of The Victory Academy, said: 

“We are so delighted with the fantastic feedback from Ofsted, which is testament to the hard work and dedication shown by students and staff to raise achievement and student outcomes since we joined TSAT.                                                                                                                                                            

“Our ‘Good’ rating follows hot on the heels of this year’s superb GCSE results and ‘Progress 8’ score, the latter of which makes us the highest-achieving non-selective school in Medway. I am proud to lead such a brilliant school.

 “Staff and students have worked extremely hard over the past few years to ensure everyone who joins us can go above and beyond in realising their potential, and we look forward to continuing our progression and going from strength to strength.”

 Stuart Gardner, Chief Executive of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, said: 

“I would like to congratulate everyone at The Victory Academy for this superb achievement. Everyone has played their part and it has been a real team effort, but I am particularly pleased that the Academy’s leadership has deservedly been praised.

“I would like to thank everyone for the part they have played in our success, as well as the ongoing support from parents. We continue to be motivated to provide our students with every opportunity to flourish, and look forward to seeing the school continue on its journey towards ‘Outstanding’.”

Tracey Crouch, Member of Parliament for Chatham and Aylesford, said:

“My warmest congratulations to The Victory Academy, who have been rated Good – a tremendous achievement for the school, after a challenging journey with a few bumps along the way.

“This brilliant success should be celebrated by all those who have helped to achieve it, especially the dedicated and hardworking teachers and senior leadership team – but also the pupils themselves, who have responded so positively to the learning structures that have been put in place for them in the last few years. Well done all.”