Flying High Academy’s spectacular turn around Ofsted praises ‘relentless push for excellence’ at the Ladybrook School

The Flying High Academy in Ladybrook has just undergone an Ofsted report and the results are a spectacular turn around for the school since its new Headteacher Mr Tony Warsop and the Flying High Trust breathed new life into the school.

The Ofsted report has rated ‘Effectiveness of leadership and management’, ‘Personal development and welfare’ and ‘behaviour of pupils’ as Outstanding at the school and all other categories Good with outstanding features.

Unusually high praise for the school’s leadership is contained within the report and says the… ‘Leaders’ incisive and skilful drive for excellence has been effective in securing significant improvements in teaching and learning...Leaders’ transformation of the culture of the school is to be particularly celebrated and commended, when considering the very low starting point prior to academisation. Pupils and staff are now extremely proud to be part of the school and parents would overwhelmingly recommend the school to others…’

There is also fantastic praise for the children at the school, which, says Headteacher Tony Warsop, comes as no surprise. “The children at Flying High Academy are a daily source of pride to me. With their families, they have made the Academy the special place it is today and have supported my staff and I to make the changes that are bearing fruit now. I know that when the pupils leave this school they will have had the best start in their educational journey and that is something that we as a team at Flying High Academy will work for unflinchingly.” The report states, ‘The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. Pupils are highly courteous and considerate towards each other and adults, including visitors in the school.’

Parents support for the school and its work was also acknowledged in the report. ‘Parents who spoke to inspectors and responded to Parent View were overwhelmingly positive about the support their children receive. They are rightly confident that their children are happy and safe.’

Much was made of the ethos that runs through The Flying High Academy, something that it shares with other primary academies within the wider Flying High Trust to which it belongs. The report says, ‘The school's work to promote pupils' personal development and welfare is outstanding. There is a tangible ethos of respect and care. The aim to empower pupils, through the school pledges of ‘respect, responsibility, perseverance, aspiration, pride, fun, confidence, and creativity’, is woven through all aspects of school life.’

Tony Warsop says that he thinks the formula is a matter of teamwork, “We are a great team at Ladybrook! Everyone from pupils and their families, support staff to teachers, Governors and the friends group; to the wider family of schools within the Flying High Trust and the Trusts’ team of experts- are all pulling in the same direction. That is to make sure that our pupils have the best education and opportunities we can provide; preparing them for their future lives.”

CEO of The Flying High Trust, Mr. Chris Wheatley says that the dream of creating the best primary academy trust is taking shape and of the 3 of his member schools inspected last term, -all have shown that their schools are dramatically raising standards for pupils. “This is a fully deserved result for the team at Ladybrook and we are all delighted that their hard work is showing very tangible results. To be honest we were only disappointed not to achieve Outstanding as it appears it was within touching distance; the only thing preventing an outstanding result was the passage of time inspectors need to see that the schools outstanding practice had become embedded against its new framework!” Chris says that a dovetailing of experts throughout the Trust means that their schools have immediate access to experts of all kinds, - all contributing to a more powerful foundation of skills to call upon. “Everyone within our Trust is focused on raising all of our schools to be outstanding. We acknowledge that it is always a journey, and we know that we can always improve our methods and that is exactly what we will keep doing because it is our passion. The turnaround at The Flying High Academy shows that we mean business, and that we amount to more than wishful rhetoric. We are starting to make life improving changes to the education that our children get, and with Head teachers’ as inspirational as Tony at all of our other schools we know that the future is bright.”

Tony Warsop says the Academy will now focus on any points raised within the report that they can improve upon. “We are not going to stop pressing ahead because of this report, that’s not how we work. This school will always be making new improvements and honing skills; we won’t stand still because the world doesn’t. But just for a moment we will reflect on how far this school has come in the past 4 years and afford ourselves a pat on the back I think! I must say a big thank you to everyone who plays a role in making this such a wonderful school. I couldn’t be more proud than I am and this report confirms that our journey to outstanding is within our immediate reach, and we won’t stop until we get there!”

Pupil Grace Kendall (age 10 yrs.) is in Year 5, and amongst the last group of pupils who can remember the previous school and regime when a damning Ofsted report sent the school into special measures in 2012. Grace said that everything changed when the Flying High Trust and Mr Warsop arrived to take over the school. “It wasn’t as good as we hoped at Rosebrook and so I am really pleased and proud of the new Ofsted report. Everyone here works together, it’s very big; like a big family and I don’t want to leave!” Fellow pupil Lucy Broderick (age 10 yrs.) agrees. “When we were at Rosebrook we were on a roller coaster going down and even went into special measures. Now we are part of the Trust we are going up and up and up and we won’t come down, I want to stay here forever too!” Grace says that she hopes the school will magically turn into a secondary school when it’s her turn to leave. “I have had the best years ever here at Flying High Academy and I think we have definitely reached the best school in the universe spot!”