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Oasis Academy on the Isle of Sheppey rated ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted again, despite showing improvements

A failing school has been told it still requires special measures, but is showing signs of improvement.

After a surprise visit from inspectors in March, the Oasis Academy in Sheerness was rated inadequate for a second time.

Oasis Academy on the Isle of Sheppey remains inadequate
Oasis Academy on the Isle of Sheppey remains inadequate

A letter from Ofsted inspector Matthew Haynes to principal Andrew Booth said: “Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey remains inadequate and requires special measures.

“Leaders have made progress to improve the school, but more work is necessary for the category of concern to be removed.”

The report highlights how the school, which has campuses in Sheerness and Minster, has successfully identified areas it needs to improve.

It continued: “Pupils and staff rightly think that behaviour has improved in lessons. You have emphasised to all at the school the need to set and meet higher expectations.

“This means that in some lessons, pupils work hard in a calm and respectful atmosphere. However, this is still too variable as low-level disruption remains an issue in other lessons.

“Antisocial behaviour, including pupils using derogatory language, remains a feature of break times and transitions between lessons, but, again, there are some signs of improvement.

“More progress has been made with older pupils on the Minster campus than with younger pupils at the Sheerness campus.

“Internal exclusion are calm, orderly places where pupils are engaged in meaningful work. Numbers of pupils sent to these are falling, as are the incidents of internal truancy from lessons.”

Oasis Academy principal Andy Booth
Oasis Academy principal Andy Booth

Despite correctly identifying where they can improve with regards to SEND pupils, inspectors found there was still a gap in their education.

Inspector Matthew Haynes said: “Importantly, while teachers are now more aware of the specific needs of pupils with SEND and how to meet them, there is a lack of consistency about how effectively these pupils are supported.

“Many have significant gaps in their learning. Identification of pupils with SEND is not fully accurate.

“More generally, the approaches used in lessons by teachers are not helping pupils to retain and use what they have learned well enough.”

Behaviour in lessons at the troubled academy has improved, according to the report, but antisocial behaviour, “including pupils using derogatory language,” remains a feature of break times and when people go between classes.

‘Antisocial behaviour, including pupils using derogatory language, remains a feature of break times...’

The report continued: “Some parents are highly positive about the school. However, others are not, with issues they are concerned about including support for pupils with SEND, behaviour and bullying.

“You and other trust leaders know that engaging parents in productive partnerships is vital.

“You have taken steps to communicate with parents more effectively.”

Oasis Principal Andy Booth reiterated his statement after the school came under fire last week from education expert Peter Read.

He said: “Since last summer’s inspection, Ofsted has visited the Academy again, and I am pleased that they acknowledge in their most recent report that OAIOS has made progress, and that there have been improvements to the quality of education, which pupils and staff feel are having a positive impact.

“Ofsted reports that the strategies we are implementing have raised attendance rates, and that behaviour has improved in lessons. They also recognise the continued investment of resources to support improvement.

“Our priority remains the young people and wider academy community we are very proud to serve. Our commitment to supporting our students to achieve their best remains as strong as ever, and we will continue to work hard to deliver our improvement plans.

“All of us on the Isle of Sheppey want to see every child receive a first-class education, and all of us are aware of the historic difficulties in delivering that, not least the high levels of disadvantage and other unique challenges that have faced the island for decades.

The Sheerness campus of Oasis Academy, which is on the Isle of Sheppey
The Sheerness campus of Oasis Academy, which is on the Isle of Sheppey

“We will not be deflected from our relentless ambition to improve our school.”

Elsewhere in the county, Oasis’ schools are performing much better.

The Trust’s academy in Skinner Street, Gillingham, picked up national and local council awards.

It gained gained the Kent and Medway Workplace Wellbeing Bronze Award” and the Leading Parent Partnership Award from Optimus Education.

Victoria Richmond, Principal of Oasis Academy Skinner Street, said: “It is an absolute honour to have been recognised and awarded by the esteemed Medway Council and Optimus Education.

“We feel extremely grateful that our hard work is being recognised; I would like to thank all staff at Oasis Academy Skinner Street for making this possible and for working hard every day to create a positive working environment for us all.”

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