Cedar Mount getting back on track, says latest Official Ofsted Report

rsz_phil-mellenThe Bright Futures Educational Trust school is celebrating a strong report from Ofsted as it works hard to improve

Cedar Mount Academy, on Wembley Road in Gorton, welcomed Ofsted for a two
day monitoring inspection earlier this month – and has just received official
notification of its successes.

Having met with students, staff, governors and school leaders, the report
highlights the effectiveness of the leadership at the school, praising principal Phil
Mellen: “In the eleven months since his appointment, the principal has provided
the strong and incisive leadership that this academy has so urgently required. He
has made a significant difference to the quality of education that pupils receive at
Cedar Mount Academy”.

The report also points out that Dr John Stephens, the new CEO of Bright Futures
Educational Trust (BFET), “Has a clear and accurate understanding of the strengths
and weaknesses in the academy. He brings with him a sense of urgency and
commitment to improving outcomes for pupils in this community”.

This is the fourth monitoring inspection since the school was placed into Special
Measures and it recognises that all the issues are being successfully turned
around. Mr Mellen, says: “We are delighted with the comments in this latest
report and are confident that we will be moving out of Special Measures in the
very near future. The report recognises the great strides forward that the school
has made in the last year in particular.

The report noted that pupils at the academy would now recommend it to others,
demonstrating the “growing sense of allegiance and pride in the school
community”. It states that; “The change in culture is evident”, highlighting the
extensive range of activities, workshops, challenges and extra-curricular events
that have been introduced – many of which are joint activities with the Trust’s
other schools.

The quality of teaching has also continued to improve, with 70% of teaching now
good or better. The inspector was impressed with the preparation for forthcoming
examinations as well as the support for the teaching staff, most of whom are now
permanent. The report states that the pupils are pleased to have “teachers who
genuinely care about them and want them to succeed”, and that they “rise to the
2 challenges they are set”. Inspectors were struck by how well leaders, teachers and
other adults know their pupils, leading to mutually respectful relationships, which
has contributed significantly to the “vast improvement in pupils’ behaviour”.
The report also highlights:

• That the attendance and absence figures continue to improve.
• The success of the academy’s separate inclusion unit The Bridge.
• The success of Project 11, which provides extra lessons for those who were
affected by the changes at the academy a few years ago. Pupils have responded
positively to this.
• The success of the vocabulary enrichment programme.
• The rise in the number of pupils who progress to further education, training
or employment (from 85% to 92%).

Mr Mellen concludes: “As a relatively new school, we are determined to be
successful – and while we have already made huge improvements, we recognise
that there is more to be done. We’ll continue working to the best of our abilities,
working at pace to do the right things to improve outcomes for our young people.

We are confident that our next inspection will judge that we no longer require
‘special measures.’ Most importantly however, we want to deliver the best
possible education for our existing and future students”.