The review said that: “high expectations, coupled with a strong focus on accountability, secured in a cohesive and well-supported learning community” have facilitated “rapid improvement”.
Ofsted started the review by visiting six DNEAT academies who were due for inspection and was followed by a visit to the central Trust team. The six academy inspections all resulted in ‘good’ outcomes and the review of the Trust was extremely positive backing up the outcomes found in the academies.
The review reported that senior leaders and trustees were clear that in the early stages of the Trust’s evolution, the rate of school improvement was too slow. However, it noted a positive change: “recent inspections…and Trust-wide assessment information reflect a positive pattern of ongoing change. Pupils are making better progress because the quality of teaching, learning and assessment is improving. High-level ambition and raised expectations are at the heart of this cultural shift.”
“The Trust is fully committed to serving its community and aims to provide an education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice. This strong sense of moral purpose is now fuelled further by the ambition to make a significant difference to improving life chances for all pupil groups and to prepare them well for the next stage in their education.”
The review said that the Trust has built on “previous successes and sustained a relentless focus on improving the quality of education” and through “a tenacious determination to improve outcomes for all pupil groups…[you] have made a significant difference in a relatively short space of time.”
The review also highlighted the Trust’s “entrenched mantra of ‘growing your own’ teaching teams” and despite “a landscape of national and local challenges in teacher recruitment, retention and supply…there are currently very few gaps across the Trust’s workforce”. The review further recognised the Trust’s ambition to become an ‘employer of choice’.
Mary Jane Edwards, CEO of DNEAT said:
“We are so proud of this result as it reflects the fantastic work that our teachers and staff across our academies are doing. Although this is a great result, we know that there is still more to do and we will continue to work at improving standards. We all want to provide the best education possible for the children in our care and we believe that by working collaboratively we can achieve this.”