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Ely College

Ely College

Ely College ‘transformed’ as Ofsted rate the school Good with Outstanding features ​​​​​​​

In its first Ofsted inspection since joining the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT), Ely College has been rated Good with Outstanding leadership and management.

It has been a fantastic three years for the college, who were announced last summer as ‘Secondary School of the Year’ at the Cambridge News Education Awards and achieved some of the best GCSE results in their history.

Now, just three years after joining the Trust, Ely College has been rated Good for ‘quality of teaching, learning and assessment’, ‘personal development’, ‘behavior and welfare’ and ‘outcomes for pupils’. The College’s post 16 provision, Bishop Laney Sixth Form, was also rated Good.

The ‘effectiveness of leadership and management’ was judged to be Outstanding. Inspectors said: “Since taking up his post in September 2016, the principal has been unwavering in his determination that only the best will do. Senior leaders, the trust and governors have successfully transformed the culture in the school.” They continued: “The quality of teaching, learning and assessment, achievement and behavior have all improved significantly as a result.” 

Principal, Richard Spencer, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the outcome of our Ofsted inspection. We have waited a long time for a report like this and it is an accurate reflection of all the hard work and dedication that our staff have put in to transforming the school over the last three years. We are indebted to all at CMAT, the Fenland and East Cambridgeshire Opportunity Area and our fantastic local community who have supported us on every step of our journey and enabled us to become the school we are today. Looking forward, we’re excited to carry on building on this success and continuing to provide a fantastic education for the children in our community.”

The running of Ely College transferred to CMAT in July 2016. This came after discussions with the Department for Education which aimed to secure local support for Ely College, with the aim of moving the school more quickly towards becoming Good. Before joining the Trust, Ely College had been through a turbulent period, with Ofsted judging the school ‘inadequate’ and requiring special measures in 2015.

Mark Woods, Chief Executive Officer of CMAT, said: “We are over the moon with the results of the inspection at Ely College. The College’s success is a real representation of our commitment to providing a high-quality education for everyone, at the heart of local communities. We are thrilled to have been a part of the College’s journey and excited to see what we can continue to achieve together in the future.” 

The full report can be found on the College’s website but the key findings are detailed below:

  • Leaders have transformed the school by successfully establishing a culture of high expectations of both staff and pupils. As a result, the quality of education has improved rapidly. Parents and pupils recognise the significant improvements that leaders have made
  • Leaders have worked relentlessly to improve behaviour, teaching and achievement. Staff share leaders’ ambition and want the best for pupils
  • The overwhelming majority of parents who responded to Parent View, Ofsted’s online questionnaire, were supportive of school leaders and acknowledged that significant improvements had been made
  • The Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (the trust) has been instrumental in securing rapid improvements in the school. School leaders’ work with the trust has contributed to improved teaching, learning and assessment and ensured that leadership at all levels is strong
  • Teaching is effective in helping most pupils to make strong progress in many subjects, including English and mathematics
  • Leaders have carefully constructed a curriculum that supports pupils’ academic and personal development well. An extensive range of extra-curricular activities, a well-planned personal social and health education (PSHE) programme and the PLEDGES system contributes strongly to preparing pupils for life in modern British society
  • Governors have a comprehensive knowledge of the school. They provide appropriate support and challenge which ensures that school leaders’ actions result in improvements
  • Adults know pupils well and provide them with the support needed to complete their studies and progress to education, training or employment
  • The sixth form provision is good. Students typically achieve well on the vocational courses offered. Leaders have re-introduced A-level courses to broaden opportunities for post-16 study in the local area