It’s been a year of progress and improvement for BFET’s Cedar Mount Academy in Gorton.
As previously reported, following a monitoring visit in May the Her Majesty’s Inspector of schools (HMI) heaped praise upon the rapidly improving secondary school saying “Since the principal’s arrival, the school has made strong progress towards the removal of special measures” .
Many positive comments including “Mutually respectful relationships between staff and pupils contribute significantly to the vast improvement in pupils’ behaviour in lessons” and “Staff morale is high. Leaders, teachers and other adults in the school demonstrate a genuine and tangible commitment to their pupils” showed that the school was progressing well.
On the back of this monitoring visit a full Ofsted inspection of the school took place in early July. We are very pleased to report that Cedar Mount Academy has moved out of special measures and inadequate status and is now categorised as “requiring improvement”. Whilst the school and the Trust recognise that further improvements need to be made and agree with Ofsted’s points, the improvement at the school is clear to see and well documented in the report.
- The Principal has been in post for just over a year; his impact has reverberated around the school community. His expectations are high.
- The leadership and management of behaviour is strong
- Behaviour and attendance has improved significantly since the previous inspection.
- The vast majority of pupils behave extremely well and get along with their peers from very different backgrounds to themselves.
- Governance is transformed.
- The recently appointed Chief Executive Officer has brought a high level of challenge and a wealth of experience to support the school on a journey of rapid improvement.
- Senior leaders set high expectations for pupils’ achievement.
- Sport has radically improved since the previous inspection. Many pupils are enthused by the wealth of extra-curricular sport and the leadership opportunities it brings.
- The vast majority of parents feel that their child is safe in school and that bullying is dealt with effectively.
- Due to raised expectations, many pupils spoken to by inspectors say that they are looking forward to visiting university as they aspire to be doctors or lawyers.
One member of staff commented for the inspector: ‘This school has gone from strength to strength during the last two years after a very difficult time for everybody. There is a really good, strong ethos here, where staff and students care about each other and I feel very proud and privileged to work here at Cedar Mount and for this Trust.’
And it’s the improvements and progress made by all the staff and students at Cedar Mount that has led the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) Vicky Beer to revoke the decision to take the school away from its sponsor Bright Futures Educational Trust. In a recent letter to Trust CEO Dr John Stephens she stated “it was a pleasure to such a positive report following Ofsted’s monitoring visit. Clearly you and your team at both trust and school level are making improvements at the academy.”
Cedar Mount Academy Principal Phil Mellen said “We are delighted that the recent Ofsted inspection recognised the excellent progress the school has made in the last year. Students at Cedar Mount deserve the best teaching and learning and wider educational experiences and we are now offering these in most areas. We are determined to build on this outcome and continue to improve to good in everything as soon as possible”.
You can read both the new Ofsted report and the HMI report by visiting www.cedarmount.manchester.sch.uk/parents-carers/ofsted-report