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The De La Salle Academy

The De La Salle Academy

The De La Salle Academy

Inspiring People;
Breaking Boundaries

Ofsted Inspection Spring 2020

‘We’re pushing on with purpose and belief’

All staff at The De La Salle Academy are focused on continuing to drive forward improvements with “purpose and belief” following the release of the school’s latest Ofsted Inspection.

The Schools’ Inspectorate visited the Croxteth school at the start of the year to review every aspect of life at De La Salle over a two-day inspection.

David Hayes, Principal, said that the school accepted and acknowledged the findings, and that there was a relentless drive to build on the school’s strengths and enhance the areas that needed improvement.

Mr Hayes said: “While the inspection team noted a great deal of positives, and rated the school as Good in one category, they highlighted key areas that limit the overall judgement that they could give us against the new, much tougher Ofsted framework. As a result, the final grade was Inadequate.

“While we acknowledge and accept their findings, we don’t believe that the tone of the report really reflects the progress that is being made.” 

“We are on a journey where we are systematically addressing and challenging the “deep rooted culture” they highlight. Significant work has already been undertaken over recent years to get to the core of these issues to continually strengthen the school.”

The Ofsted inspectors noted:

  • Behaviour has improved. Leaders have successfully established a culture where students can now learn.
  • Pupils personal development is very strong
  • Pupils appreciate the range of extra-curricular opportunities
  • The programme of careers education is well developed
  • Leaders have stabilised staffing, and pupils are delighted that they now have a full complement of specialist teachers in mathematics
  • Staff feel valued and supported by leaders
  • Pupils told us that they feel safe

Mr Hayes also added that the school was in a much stronger position to accelerate the pace of change as leaders have successfully had a Financial Notice to Improve (FNTI) lifted from the school.

“Through the changes that have been made, we have created an environment where our staff and students feel able to excel. With the removal of the FNTI we now have greater freedom to invest in our students’ education.”

“We can build on successes and move more quickly to respond to challenges. This is already having an impact as, in the week before the inspection, we have managed to recruit a full maths department for the first time in recent memory.”

We have also developed a reciprocal partnership with the Outstanding St Edward’s College, which is centred on curriculum development and clear Sixth Form pathways for De La Salle students. We believe that this is a very exciting development that will add further impetus to the changes we are making. 

“For all of these reasons, we do not believe that the term Inadequate really reflects the progress that has been made. We are a school that knows our problems and we are tackling them with purpose and belief. This is not something that we shy away from. In fact, ensuring the school is right for our young people is what drives us on.

“The next, and most vitally important step in this journey, is now showing this progress in our academic results. The students have had greater access to the diet of education that we have brought in over recent years, and all predictions for this summer show that we will be in a position that is markedly different from previous results.”

A full copy of our report can be found here