We are now moving in the right direction, declares head teacher
A HEAD teacher says a secondary school in Stoke Gifford is beginning to turn the corner after it was previously judged to be failing.
Dave Baker believes steady progress has been made at Abbeywood Community School since it was placed into special measures by Government education inspectors Ofsted just over a year ago.
The school became an academy earlier this month, with Abbeywood forming a partnership with the more successful Bradley Stoke Community School.
Mr Baker, who is an executive head responsible for leading both schools, believes the link will benefit Abbeywood and allow it to improve further over the next two years.
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With the progress being made, he believes the school will be awarded a good rating by Ofsted by the end of December 2014.
In the latest monitoring report carried out by the schools watchdog in November, Abbeywood was judged to be making encouraging progress.
The school will be visited by Ofsted for a further monitoring inspection between now and July, and for a full inspection between July and the end of 2014.
Mr Baker said the academy status and tie with Bradley Stoke would give the school a fresh start.
He said the school had to become an academy because of its status as a failing school.
Mr Baker said: "We didn't have a choice in becoming an academy because once you are in special measures the state can direct you to become one. The school's governing body took a pre-emptive strike and thought they would work with Bradley Stoke rather becoming part of a national chain of academies which would come in and change things.
"We have already shared teaching with Bradley Stoke and with the Post-16 Concorde partnership there is a shared timetable between Abbeywood, Bradley Stoke, Patchway and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.
"In terms of the history of working together, it was logical it should be taken forward. We made sure the partner school was the preferred partner."
The school will be run by the Olympus Academy Trust, which was set up when Bradley Stoke Community School converted into an academy in January last year.
Mr Baker said: "Its vision is about providing excellent experiences and outcomes in the local context."
The executive head said an upturn in the school's GCSE results was expected this summer.
He said: "Fifty-seven per cent of our current Year 11 has already got a grade C in GCSE English because they took it at the end of Year 10.
"That puts us in a better place in the summer than the school has ever been in before – things are definitely moving in the right direction. I'm really pleased.
"Last summer I was disappointed because the results should have been higher but we were caught up with the national GCSE fiasco."
The 900-pupil school, the former Filton High School, was placed into special measures after inspectors decided results had been poor for three years and students had not made enough progress because teaching was not good enough.
At the time, pupils told Ofsted that many lessons were interrupted by poor behaviour and attitudes to learning.
Mr Baker, who had been head at Bradley Stoke since it opened in 2005, was asked to step in at Abbeywood in November 2011 when its head Ann Duff left suddenly less than a month into the school year.