The Carlton Academy remains a 'Good' school where 'pupils are flourishing' - Ofsted

A Nottingham secondary school where ‘pupils are flourishing’ has had confirmation that its work supporting young people to feel safe, happy and achieve continues to be ‘Good’.

Ofsted inspectors spent two days at The Carlton Academy, which is sponsored by Redhill Academy Trust, where they observed that: “This school sits proudly at the heart of the community. Pupils are flourishing.”

Inspectors visited lessons, looked at students’ work and spoke to a wide range of stakeholders including students, parents, teachers, leaders and governors on November 9th and 10th this year.  Returning their Section 8 monitoring report, they confirmed the school will maintain its ‘Good’ rating.

Ofsted’s report praised the ‘diverse and inclusive’ culture at The Carlton Academy where ’everyone is accepted for who they are’.

This school sits proudly at the heart of the community. Pupils are flourishing.

“Staff know many pupils individually and encourage them to rise to high expectations. Pupils have positive and respectful relationships with staff. The school creates an environment in which pupils feel safe and happy,” inspectors said.

They added that learning was ‘rarely disrupted’, saying: “Pupils consistently commit to their studies and show positive attitudes to learning.”

Headteacher, Marie Egwuma, said she was ‘delighted’ that the report recognised how students flourish at the academy. She said: “It is really pleasing that inspectors saw how great teaching and pastoral support, on a day-to-day basis, helps to place our academy at the heart of the community.” 

She added: “The Carlton Academy has a track record of sustained improvement year on year as a result of its high expectations, strong academic curriculum and its commitment to wider opportunities for all.”  

During the inspection, staff at the academy told inspectors that they were ‘proud’ to work there. They said that leaders were ‘considerate of their workload and wellbeing’, and that ‘effective support and training’ was provided for staff at all levels by Redhill Academy Trust.

Richard Pierpoint, Regional Director for Redhill Academy Trust, said: “The Carlton Academy has demonstrated continuous progress since joining the Trust. We are delighted that Ofsted agreed with this and acknowledge the outstanding work of staff, students, governors and Redhill Academy Trust. The school has a very bright future and aims to be judged as outstanding at its next inspection.”

School leaders were also commended for having a clear vision of how teachers should deliver the curriculum, through the work they did to identify ‘clear expectations of teaching and learning shared strategies’. Staff use these to support all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, to learn the curriculum.

Inspectors said that subject leaders ‘skilfully identified’ essential knowledge and ‘thought carefully’ about the order this was introduced to students, to help them build on what they already know.

Pupils consistently commit to their studies and show positive attitudes to learning.

The report also recognised that leaders had designed a curriculum which ‘focuses on what pupils in this community need to know so they can achieve their potential in the future’, with all students studying philosophy, religion and ethics in depth.

The Carlton Academy was praised for taking its curriculum ‘beyond the academic’ with ‘an extra-curricular activity for every pupil’. Speaking to students, the inspection team heard that they enjoyed a broad range of opportunities for wider development which help them develop new talents and interests. This includes ‘high quality careers education,’ inspectors said.

Leaders have designed a curriculum that focuses on what pupils in this community need to know so they can achieve their potential in the future.

The report identified The Carlton Academy Sixth Form as a positive place for post-16 students to focus on ‘the broad range of subjects they can choose to study’, with dedicated areas for independent study. It reads: “Students hold the sixth form in high regard. They benefit from the expert subject knowledge of their teachers. Students support younger pupils by acting as role models.”

Listed below are further comments made by inspectors following the recent Ofsted inspection:

  • Pupils are prepared to appreciate and understand the broad range of people they will encounter when they leave school.
  • Pupils are proud to represent one of the five houses in many competitions calendared throughout the year. Pupils recently participated in a Halloween-themed bake-off and they know the whole-school ‘spelling bee’ is fast approaching.
  • The school council plays an active role in improving the school’s facilities as well as providing feedback on the curriculum. They know that leaders act on this feedback.
  • Pupils have an age-appropriate understanding of how to stay safe.
  • All pupils receive independent and impartial careers advice. For pupils with SEND this is a priority.
  • Leaders plan events that expose pupils to the world of work. Representatives of the Royal Air Force visited the school as part of a recent 'eco day'. All pupils in Years 10 and 12 undertake work experience.
  • The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. Teachers receive regular safeguarding training. This reminds them of the contextual safeguarding issues and the signs that a pupil might be at risk of harm.
  • All staff know the exact actions to take if they have a concern about a pupil or if they have a concern about an adult.
  • Safeguarding leaders work closely with external agencies. They ensure that the most vulnerable pupils receive the support they need.
  • Safeguarding leaders keep accurate records and detailed actions of how they protect pupils.
  • Trustees and governors understand their statutory safeguarding responsibilities. They ensure that the school maintains a vigilant culture.