THERE have been celebrations at St James Academy in Dudley which has received a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted for the first time in nearly two decades.

The report, published after an inspection on June 4 and 5, praises the academy in St James’s Road as “inclusive and welcoming” - saying pupils are “courteous and polite”, “prejudice is unacceptable” and “pupils feel they can be themselves in a safe environment”.

It commends the academy’s careers programme and says the school ensures reading is prioritised for all pupils and those “who require English language support receive this through a specialised programme”.

The report says: “The school has worked hard to improve the quality of teaching since the last inspection. For example, lessons now include activities that are designed to help pupils revisit and remember previous learning. This approach is helping pupils to remember more.”

It adds that “leaders, including those responsible for governance, are very knowledgeable about the school” - which previously had a requires improvement rating – and that “staff feel proud to have contributed to the school’s development”.

To read the full report click here:

Ian Moore, principal at St James Academy, said: “I am extremely proud of the whole school community for achieving this fantastic outcome.

“This report reflects the hard work and dedication of our staff, pupils, parents, and governors, who have all contributed to the school’s improvement journey.

“We are grateful for the support and challenge from Dudley Academies Trust, which has enabled us to raise standards and expectations across the board. We will continue to work together to ensure that St James Academy provides the best possible education for our pupils, significantly improving their life chances.”

St James Academy is a founding secondary school within Dudley Academies Trust and bosses say there has been continuous improvement since it joined the trust in 2017.

Jo Higgins, chief executive officer at St James Academy, said: “We are thrilled to see St James Academy recognised as a ‘good’ school by Ofsted.

“St James Academy has embraced the trust’s vision and values and has demonstrated a relentless commitment to providing high-quality education for its pupils.

“We are very proud of the achievements of the staff and pupils at St James Academy, and we look forward to supporting them on the next exciting phase of their journey.”

Lowell Williams, chair of the board of trustees at Dudley Academies Trust, added: “This is a remarkable achievement for St James Academy and a clear indication of the positive impact that being part of Dudley Academies Trust can have on a school.

“I would like to congratulate Ian Moore and his staff, as well as the pupils and parents, for this well-deserved recognition.”

Along with the improvements and many good points, the report noted that some pupils do not attend school as often as they should, on occasions the school does not ensure work given to pupils is well matched to their needs and that many pupils choose not to engage in extra-curricular activities – and it suggested improvements could be made to these areas.