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City of Peterborough Academy


Following an inspection on 21 and 22 April 2015, Ofsted has judged the overall effectiveness of the City of Peterborough Academy, sponsored by the Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust (GDFT), to be “outstanding”.

Inspectors scrutinised records and documentation, observed lessons and met with pupils, staff and parents to get their views. 

The inspection is an independent assessment of the effectiveness of the Academy which includes:

  • The achievement of pupils
  • The quality of teaching
  • The behaviour and safety of pupils
  • The quality of leadership and management

The Academy was judged to be ‘outstanding’ across all four areas which is exceptional given that it is a brand new Free School which only opened in September 2013.

The report highlighted that the “inspirational and highly respected” Principal, Mr Dale Hardy, and his staff team have been exceptionally successful in establishing a new Academy in which students can flourish academically and socially. Inspectors noted that “students in both Year 7 and Year 8 are being very well prepared for the next stage of education and for later life”.

The inspectors also noted that the GDFT provides high quality support and challenge and found that staff speak with pride about being part of the Trust and are overwhelmingly positive about the impact that working with other Academies in the Trust is having on standards of teaching and achievement.  

The report states that teaching is highly effective and that “students, regardless of their abilities and often from very low starting points, are making rapid and sustained progress” which bodes well for the first examinations which will take place in 2018. The report specifically celebrates the work that has been done to improve literacy skills and inspectors found that reading ages of Year 7 pupils increased by an average of almost two years in their first term at the Academy. Inspectors commented that “the percentage of students making expected and above expected progress is significantly higher than national averages across very many subjects, including English and mathematics”.

Parents will be particularly interested to know that inspectors found that “students’ behaviour is exemplary” and “the school’s work to keep students safe and secure is outstanding”. The report is teeming with positive references about how pupils display a love of learning, take pride in their Academy, have a clear determination to succeed and appreciate the facilities that are made available to them. The fact that pupils enjoy school and are keen to learn is why attendance is so high.

Mr Hardy, Principal, said: “I want to thank the pupils and staff who continue to work tremendously hard and the families who support us to make the City of Peterborough Academy the outstanding Academy it is today. I am delighted that the report recognises how hard we have worked in the short time since the Academy opened. This is also excellent news for the local community who deserve to have an outstanding school on their doorstep."

Sir Barry Day, OBE, Chief Executive of the GDFT, said: “My congratulations go to Mr Hardy and his staff at the City of Peterborough Academy, who are dedicated and of the highest calibre. They thoroughly deserve this outcome and the report is a pleasure to read. I am particularly pleased to read that pupils understand the importance of education and cherish academic success.”