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Ofsted Report 2017

An OFSTED report has highlighted the key strengths, and areas for development, at Lipson Co-operative Academy this term. Lipson Co-operative Academy, who scored the fourth highest Progress 8 score in the City this academic year, was recently part of a two day inspection. The visit took place on March 7th and March 8th and the report shows that whilst there are many areas of strength, there are some areas of development which the school had already identified and are working towards improving.

Principal, Mrs Lynda Budd, in post since September 2016, has made it her vision to improve character education, alongside academic progress, within the school and the recent OFSTED report has endorsed her vision and capacity to drive change by stating that, ‘the new headteacher…recognises that there are key areas that the school needs to improve and has quickly taken a range of appropriate actions to tackle them.’  Lynda Budd said, “Ofsted confirmed exactly what we knew – we know our strengths and we know the areas for development. Ofsted praised this in their report and saw real improvements underway.”

The recent OFSTED report has recognised the changes that the new Principal has  implemented at Lipson Co-operative Academy, confirming that the school’s own improvement plan had identified the areas of development to drive the school forward and that the Principal is providing the vision to improve the school. The school knows that they must make more rapid improvements to the provision of disadvantaged students and high ability students; a particular area of focus will be the aspirations and progress of high ability, disadvantaged boys. Lynda Budd, Principal, stated that “the focus and passion of our staff and community will implement a detailed action plan for rapid improvement; ensuring that we maintain or improve our position as the school with the fourth best progress in the City.”

It is clear that the school’s success in improving the progress and attainment of pupils within Mathematics has been a key strength since their 2012 OFSTED report which included this as an area to improve. The 2017 report shows that, ‘improvements in the teaching of Mathematics have quickened pupils’ progress…’

As a Co-operative School, there is a genuine feeling of belonging when you walk into Lipson Co-operative Academy. All stakeholders, including parents, staff and students are overjoyed that the co-operative spirit is driven within the school under the leadership of Mrs Budd and this has been recognised within the report. Participation within ‘culture rich’ activities such as overseas residentials and debating competitions have increased significantly and the school are rightly proud of the enrichment this brings to students’ lives. In addition, key strengths have been recognised within the school’s pastoral elements: the school’s strong Guild system was praised; pastoral support and a well-established safeguarding culture was evident throughout the visit alongside the effective preparation of students for modern life in Britain through the school’s co-operative values which link clearly to British Values.  

This is further evidenced within the OFSTED report through the successful deployment of an enrichment programme throughout their Post 16 study programme, with the report recognising that 'students in the sixth form undertake meaningful non-qualification activities.'  These range from Reading Buddies, with the aim of helping the literacy progress of younger students, to charitable fundraising. This enrichment can clearly be linked to the positive careers education received by pupils which in turn has ensured that 'the vast majority of students go onto further education, employment, training or apprenticeships.' 

Mrs Budd said, “I approach education in the same way as I approach everything- with vigour and enthusiasm. It is vital in this competitive jobs market that all students at Lipson are developed fully. Our mission is to be exceptional in all that we do and encourage our students to ‘be all that they can be.’

Although academic progress in the Sixth Form has been indicated as an area that requires improvement, the Academy's vocational success is clearly celebrated with all students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, succeeding in line with national averages on vocational post 16 courses. 'Highly proficient teaching' is also recognised within the school's post 16 Sports Studies diplomas and the school is keen to ensure that this same level of success is replicated throughout their full range of academic and vocational courses.

Lipson is a school entering a new era, Mrs Budd said “As a school, we will work in partnership with our governors, staff, parents, students and local community, to make sure that we provide the very best education that our students deserve. Our students are at the heart of everything we do and we have a dedicated body of staff whom will now demonstrate the relentless drive to move Lipson forward.”

Please click here to read the full Ofsted Report