Primary School Places

'Outstanding' Turnaround for BDA

Burlington Danes Academy has been judged outstanding by Ofsted in all four categories.

Following a full inspection on 21-22 November, Ofsted’s report was made public yesterday and makes for exceptional reading. The report begins: “The mission to provide the very best education for every pupil within a caring and safe environment has become a reality in this outstanding academy. Students, staff and parents are proud to be part of this mission and speak very highly about the academy.”

The achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, and leadership and management all received the highest grading based on the new Ofsted criteria, introduced in September 2013. Under the new tightened criteria it is thought that only 4-5% of schools will be awarded outstanding status.

Placed in special measures in 2006 and made the first ARK academy the same year, the school has experienced a dramatic turnaround. Principal Dame Sally Coates and Senior Vice Principal Michael Ribton joined in 2008 and the school has been on an upward trajectory ever since.

Dame Sally said: “It is a stunning achievement for the school and ARK Academies. I am so proud of my staff.”

Despite fallen national averages in this summer’s GSCE results, Burlington Danes pupils celebrated record achievement of 77% A*-C (including English and maths), more than double its 2006 results. The sixth form, founded in 2009, followed suit with a 99% pass rate and 50% of all qualifications awarded A*-B.

The report continues: “The commitment of all staff in this academy to the continuous improvement of teaching and learning is exceptional.”

Ken Bromfield, governor and former pupil, said: “BDA is now established as an outstanding school, serving the community in which I was born and raised. So my gratitude to all BDA staff regarding their role in what has been achieved is heartfelt. There is no question in my mind that the decision to bring BDA under ARK's wing was the vital step on the hard road to success via Sally and her fantastic team.”

Chair of Governors Lord Stanley Fink said: “I am so thrilled and proud of the school and would like to pay enormous tribute to Sally for her phenomenal leadership, the Senior Leadership Team who have helped drive the school forward and the amazing and hardworking staff.”

Burlington Danes Academy’s journey continues with a new primary school opening within the ARK network on its White City site in September 2014.