Inspection Reports

Extracts from inspection reports can be found further below, alonside links to download the reports in full. 

Our most recent Ofsted report judged the school to require improvement and identifed three specific areas for improvement all of which leaders are working with urgency to address.

What does the school need to do to improve? Our work undertaken to improve in this area
Currently, a large proportion of pupils in key stage 3 do not study a modern foreign language and computing. This means that pupils do not have access to a broad range of subjects. In addition, the number of pupils opting to study a language at key stage 4 is declining. Leaders should ensure that all pupils study a broad and ambitious curriculum at key stage 3, as exemplified by the national curriculum. All pupils in KS3 do now study a modern foreign language and computing. The sizes of the MFL and computing departments have been rapidly increased. The reading interventions which previously led to some pupils being withdrawn from the curriculum have been rescheduled to now take place largely before and after school. Ambitious targets have been agreed with the local governing body to increase the number of pupils studying a modern foreign language at KS4. Leaders continue to evaluate on a termly basis the extent to which the curriculum within each subject is broad, balanced and aligned with the national curriculum.
In the recent past, leaders have not regularly reviewed and evaluated the needs of those pupils with SEND. This means that some pupils with SEND have not benefited from the precise support and help they need. Leaders should ensure that all teachers provide effective support to pupils with SEND, and that learning plans are reviewed more regularly to check that they are fit for purpose.   The leadership of SEND has been strengthened, with the SENDCO now a member of the school’s senior leadership team. The number of teaching assistants working alongside teachers to assess, support and to provide interventions for pupils with SEND has significantly increased. Our calendar of professional development activities is built around improving the precision with which the needs of all leaners are met. The reviewing of pupil passports and learning plans is now a routine part of our termly progress meetings with parents for pupils with SEND. School leaders are working in partnership with NASEN and Whole School SEND to further evaluate and improve provision.
Previously, trust leaders have not evaluated fully the impact of decisions made by school leaders. This has led to some pupils not having access to a broad curriculum at key stage 3 and the needs of pupils with SEND not being met effectively. Governors and trust leaders should provide effective strategic oversight of the decisions made by school leaders, so that all pupils, including pupils with SEND, benefit from a high-quality key stage 3 curriculum. Following the pandemic, regular review cycles and in-person meetings are back up and running. Leaders take part in termly audits of SEND, Safeguarding and Sixth Form provision which are led and supported by trust leaders. The principal works closely with the Regional Director for Ark Schools to evaluate all aspects of provision, with a particular focus on the curriculum. The local governing body has been expanded and a number of link governor roles have been established in order to provide governors with a more rigorous and precise insight into the decisions being taken about different aspects of school provision.


Ofsted Section 5, Inspection Report - November 2021

"Pupils are happy at Ark St Alban’s because they are well cared for. Leaders know the local community well. Staff make time to get to know individual pupils and their families. Leaders have high expectations for what they want pupils to achieve."

The full Ofsted report is available to download here

Ofsted Section 8, Monitoring Inspection - December 2015

"The behaviour of pupils observed during the inspection was of a very high standard. They were smartly dressed and wore their uniform with pride. In lessons, pupils were interested and engaged. They worked hard and were proud of their achievements. Pupils with special educational needs were especially enthusiastic as they improved their literacy in ‘reading recovery lessons’ where their progress was palpable. Pupils in Year 7 have adjusted well into the academy’s high academic expectations. A very challenging discussion of Spanish grammar was conducted almost entirely in Spanish. Pupils in Year 9 were eager to show their bottle openers that they had made in design and technology, and pupils in Year 11 worked hard to analyse their recent mock examinations so that they could learn from their mistakes." 

The full Ofsted monitoring report can be here.

Ofsted Section 5 Inspection Report, October 2011

“St Alban’s academy gives richness and meaning to many students’ lives and provides an outstanding standard of education.” 

The full Ofsted report is available to download here.

Ofsted Section 8 inspection report, November 2010

Ofsted completed their first monitoring of St Alban’s since it became an ARK academy and judged the school to be making good progress. Inspectors noted the exceptional progress made in transforming behaviour and ethos, the high quality of the maths and engineering specialisms and the very effective care, guidance and support offered, particularly to the most vulnerable children.

The full report is available to download here