Trust visited four times by Ofsted during pandemic celebrates verdict

Neil McShane, principal of Attleborough Academy, has been appointed to lead Norfolk Academies multi-

Neil McShane, executive headteacher at Attleborough Academy - Credit: Norfolk Academies

An academy trust has seen four of its schools visited by Ofsted inspectors in the midst of the pandemic is celebrating after one retained its 'good' status.

Attleborough Academy, previously known as Attleborough High School, was one four schools in the Sapientia Trust to be visited by watchdog over the course of 2021, as it continued to adjust to the changing picture of schools during Covid.

It was also the school's first full inspection since September 2016 - and its first since becoming part of the trust in June 2020.

And the inspection saw the academy continue to be rated as a 'good' school by inspectors - the second-highest rating available in the inspections.

In the report, the school was praised for the way it had adapted to the challenges of the pandemic, particularly through the remote working offered to pupils during the home-school phase of Covid.

The inspector wrote: "Pupils praise the teaching and care that staff provided throughout periods of remove learning.

"Pupils in key stage four and key stage five said that this helped to ease anxiety brought on by the pandemic."

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Executive principal Neil McShane said: "'I am delighted with the outcome of our Ofsted inspection.

"Our pupils and staff are simply brilliant - they work hard every day to contribute to a unique and special school.

"The report highlights Attleborough Academy as a caring, inclusive school, with high standards in all that we do.

"We know our pupils well and provide high-quality education, in and beyond the classroom. I am proud that our school community is recognised as a special place to be."

Sapientia Trust chief executive Jonathan Taylor added: "'This is a glowing Ofsted report recognising the commitment of pupils and staff.  

"Since the school joined Sapientia in June 2020 we have worked in partnership with school-based staff to strengthen the school further.

"The report recognises that we have added 'impetus and expertise' - which is what a high-quality trust should do.

"This work will continue and I look forward to Attleborough Academy's ongoing success. It is  a school that the whole community can be proud of."