By John Baron
Safeguarding at Leeds West Academy has been classed as ‘effective’ by Ofsted inspectors carrying out an ‘urgent’ inspection at the Rodley school.
A team of five inspectors visited the school, on Intake Lane, Rodley, after concerns had been raised with Ofsted about the behaviour and attitudes of pupils.
It follows an incident in July which saw a video circulating on social media which appeared to show a pupil fighting with a classmate, before attacking a staff member as he tried to intervene.
Inspectors carried out a detailed review of safeguarding procedures during their visit in September.
This included scrutinising all documents relating to safeguarding and child protection. Inspectors also met with the principal, the deputy chief executive officer, the chair of the board of trustees and also met with groups of pupils and staff.
Inspectors observed pupils’ behaviour and conduct at different times during the school day and reviewed the responses to Ofsted’s parent survey, minutes from local advisory board meetings, headteacher reports and local authority safeguarding audits of the school’s work.
Ofsted inspector Richard Jones said he found safeguarding to be effective. His monitoring report, which was published last week, noted a recent decline in the number of suspensions and highlighted ongoing safeguarding training and support for staff.
His report praised pupils’ behaviour and added: “Leaders encourage pupils to talk to each other in a respectful manner. During the inspection, we saw pupils engaged in polite and constructive conversations at breakfast and lunchtime.
“Pupils arrive in a positive and controlled manner to their first lesson.
“Leaders and staff have high expectations of behaviour. Pupils are aware of what is appropriate and unacceptable behaviour. As a result, disruption in class has reduced.
“Classrooms are purposeful places to learn. Most pupils behave responsibly and with respect for others. They are aware of teachers’ expectations.”
Pupils report that bullying and prejudice are infrequent and records support this, the Ofsted report added.
Mr Jones said leaders have created various approaches to interact with families and motivate pupils to attend school more often, but said while there have been improvements in pupils’ attendance of late, further improvements can be made. He recommends leaders should keep working with families and pupils who do not attend as often.
West Leeds Dispatch contacted the White Rose Academies Trust’s press office both yesterday and today, but has so far had no response to our requests for comment.
Leeds West Academy last full inspection in 2019 rated the school is ‘good’ overall. All of the school’s Ofsted reports can be read in full here.