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The Totteridge Academy on the way to Outstanding

Updated: Apr 8, 2019

Ofsted inspectors give school ‘Outstanding’ ratings for leadership and students’ behaviour, personal development and welfare

Ofsted inspectors have praised The Totteridge Academy’s ‘Outstanding’ leadership for the school’s turnaround since joining multi-academy trust United Learning in 2016.


Following a recent inspection, the inspectors were full of praise for the academy, its teachers and its students, confirming that it has been firmly established as a ‘Good’ school with ‘Outstanding’ features. Students’ academic progress and outcomes in recent years reflects this, as well as their behaviour, personal development and welfare – which was also said to be ‘Outstanding’.


The report highlights the rapid improvement at the school since becoming a part of United Learning and praises the “inspirational and dynamic principal” Chris Fairbairn and his team for spearheading this transformation. According to inspectors, the academy’s leaders have developed a curriculum that is “broad and rich” and the school community is now a “harmonious and peaceful learning environment”, where students thoroughly enjoy and take pride in their work.


Last academic year, the school’s GCSE students made above national average progress from their individual starting points, achieving particularly well in mathematics and science. The inspectors were impressed with students’ love of learning, saying that they are eager to arrive at their lessons on time so that they do not miss out on any learning. Praising their “exceptional” behaviour, students were said to “treat each other with respect and enjoy positive and healthy relationships”, a culture which is enhancing their learning.


Staff across the school were praised for their enthusiasm for their subjects and the strength of their teaching, which means students now “approach lessons and examinations with confidence”. According to the report, they are well-prepared for the next stage of their education and receive high-quality careers advice, enrichment opportunities and cultural opportunities to enable them to lead successful lives in modern Britain – something The Totteridge Academy calls delivering an ‘Education with Character’.

Another area singled out for praise was the school’s positive reputation in the local community and parents’ pride in their children’s school. According to inspectors, they were “overwhelmingly positive” about the quality of teaching and how well staff look after students. Every parent that gave feedback via Ofsted’s Parent View website said they would recommend the school to other families.


Chris Fairbairn, Principal of The Totteridge Academy, said:


“We are delighted with this feedback from Ofsted which recognises the many outstanding aspects of our school and just how far our ambitions stretch for the future. As inspectors have seen, our staff work incredibly hard to deliver an education that inspires students, gives them the tools for academic success and opens doors to wider experiences that will help them thrive as young adults."


“The report is a credit to our fantastic students, who are a genuine pleasure to teach and come to school each day eager to learn and succeed. Likewise, this outcome would not have been possible without the support of our parents, governors and wider school community.”


Dame Sally Coates, Director of Secondary Education at United Learning, said:


“Inspectors have rightly recognised what we have all seen to be true – that The Totteridge Academy is firmly established on its way to becoming an exceptional local school. This sort of transformation requires effective leadership at all levels, so we are pleased that the report highlights the enthusiasm, dedication and ambition of staff right across the school. Now securely established, and as an increasingly popular local school, we have no doubt that TTA will continue to go from strength to strength in the years to come.”


Click HERE to read the Ofsted report in full.

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