Walton, part of the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership, has taken a step closer to being rated an ‘Outstanding’ academy following an inspection by Ofsted.
Ofsted visited the academy on 27 February 2019 to undertake a short inspection – a visit carried out within ‘Good’ rated schools to ensure standards have been maintained since the last inspection date. In its feedback report published on 8 March, the academy was praised for its strong practice and marked improvement, indicating that the school had ‘improved significantly overall’. Ofsted have therefore recommended that Walton now receive what is known as a section 5 inspection, which will further assess the exceptional developments the academy has made.
Inspectors commented that Walton demonstrated ‘an unwavering determination to secure the best possible outcomes for pupils, both academically and in their personal development and welfare’ and that ‘the strength of subject leadership has ensured that pupils receive consistently high-quality teaching across the curriculum’. The academy was also praised for its strong and supportive school ethos, underpinned by a ‘culture of kindness’ and ‘character education’ that students responded well to. These values were further exemplified in the performance and behaviour of students, who were consistently ‘polite and respectful’.
The successful inspection follows another superb year for the academy with excellent GCSE and A Level results and the top Progress 8 score in Grantham. In October 2018, Walton was ranked ‘well above average’ for its Progress 8 score of 0.62, placing it in the top 4% of secondary schools nationally and in overall first position ahead of all other schools in the town (including both grammar schools). This result also placed Walton as the highest performing non-selective school in the county of Lincolnshire.
Principal, Caroline Saxelby, said: “We are delighted that the inspection team recognised the outstanding progress that Walton has made across all areas and that they have recommended that Walton receive a further visit to formally acknowledge this. The improvements that have taken place have only happened because of the full support of parents, the support of the governing body, the hard work of the students and the dedication and expertise of the staff. We are incredibly proud of the outcome of this inspection.”
Head of School, Will Teece, added: “We are immensely proud of what has been achieved by the whole Walton community. Oftsed confirmed that we provide an exceptional educational experience leading to strong outcomes, but perhaps more importantly that students were happy and proud to be part of Walton. We are committed to ensuring that Walton continues to flourish and will be using this inspection to raise the bar even further moving forward.”
Walton is set to become a co-educational academy from September 2019, accepting boys for the first time in its history. Those who have been lucky enough to secure a place at the academy now have the added peace of mind that strong outcomes and teaching of the highest quality has once again been confirmed by Ofsted. New students will join the academy as it works relentlessly on its journey to becoming outstanding and to offer first class secondary provision for the Grantham community.