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The Skipton Academy rated 'good' in all areas by Ofsted

Leaders at The Skipton Academy have described receiving a 'good' rating from inspectors as 'momentous' - after Ofsted had previously said it was inadequate and required improvement.

The school also says that for the first time in recent memory it has filled all its places for Year 7 and has placed other pupils on a waiting list.

Ofsted visited The Skipton Academy on 25th and 26th January this year and highlighted that the school has "improved significantly over the last few years".

The former Aireville comprehensive school became an Academy in 2014 and changed its name to The Skipton Academy.  In 2017 it received a rating of 'inadequate', before moving up to 'requires improvement' when inspectors visited in March 2019. The Skipton Academy then became part of the Moorlands Learning Trust with Ilkley Grammar School in December 2019.

Now rating the school as 'good' in all areas, Ofsted says that leaders have raised ambitions for what pupils can achieve, pupils are proud to say they attend The Skipton Academy and that parents and carers say they would overwhelmingly recommend the school.

The report goes on to say that “pupils are now making strong progress. Behaviour in lessons, and around school is calm. Pupils are keen to do well.“

Richard McManus Principal of The Skipton Academy said: “I’m pleased that Ofsted have recognised the hard work of all our staff, pupils and their families to make the school such a wonderful place to come and learn.

"It is even more pleasing that for the first time in recent memory we are completely full in Year 7 next year with 167 students joining us in September and others on a waiting list. That is the true evidence that the community know we are a good school and buy into what it is we are working hard to achieve.

"The journey that the school has been on over the last few years is truly incredible. We started this journey in a very difficult place with standards not being good enough and the local community choosing to have their children educated elsewhere. There were many people who didn’t believe that this day would come but now to be continuing to grow the school and expand all the things we can offer students still further is amazing. Having that confirmed by Ofsted will hopefully mean that people will look at The Skipton Academy and recognise how the school has been transformed from those difficult days of Aireville and the original launch of the academy.

"It is absolutely fantastic that The Skipton Academy has now received this external confirmation of its strong, inclusive, comprehensive education offer for all families in Skipton, and that there is a full choice of Good schools in the area for parents to choose from.

"The number of families choosing to send their children here show that the improvements we have made will last and we are continuing to build a legacy for the young people and families in Skipton. I’m particularly proud that we have achieved these things as part of, and with the support of Moorlands Learning Trust as a local multi academy trust. It is great that the partnership has enabled our students to access an academic path to A levels which has seen many TSA students go on to Russell Group Universities and recently Oxford to study. I knew before I took the role of Principal that the students who came here had massive potential and it is right that we should celebrate their success.

"This is a momentous day for The Skipton Academy to be recognised for the first time ever by Ofsted as a Good school. The pupils and staff are re-writing the history of the school and creating a future which just keeps getting better and better. I’m extremely grateful to all the staff, pupils and their families who have supported us on this journey and I can’t wait to continue to make things even better still for the young people we work with.”

Tap here to read the full Ofsted report from the inspectors' visit to The Skipton Academy in January 2023.

Helen Williams, CEO of Moorlands Learning Trust, said: “I am absolutely thrilled by this excellent news. The Ofsted report, showing that provision at The Skipton Academy is Good in all areas across the school, as well as the fact that the school has filled all places available, and has a waiting list for Year 7 in September 2023, are true markers of the phenomenal work that has been undertaken at the school by all staff and students over the past few years.

"I’m delighted that The Skipton Academy is now being recognised as the strong school we know it is – not just by Ofsted, but also the wider community - and I want to take the opportunity to congratulate and thank Richard McManus and his whole team for making this incredible improvement journey possible over the past few years. I’d also like to thank colleagues from Ilkley Grammar School and Moorlands Learning Trust for their part in supporting The Skipton Academy's success. Everyone’s hard work and commitment has clearly paid off and there is so much for everyone to be proud of as we now embark on our next exciting stage of development."

The Moorlands Learning Trust recently revealed plans to expand, with four local primary schools considering plans to join the Multi Academy Trust.

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