Sunderland academy must improve teaching standards, Ofsted report finds

St Aidan’s Catholic Academy, on Willow Bank Road

A Sunderland academy is facing criticism after a report from Ofsted says improvements in the standard of teaching are needed.

After a recent inspection at St Aidan’s Catholic Academy, on Willow Bank Road, the education watchdogs said although personal development and school behaviour is good, the school needs to improve in other areas.

They say an improvement in teaching across all year groups, including the sixth form, and improving the performance and well-being of disadvantaged pupils is needed.

The report reads:

“Pupils do not consistently make good progress across all-year groups and subjects, particularly in science and humanities, because the quality of teaching is variable.

“Too often teachers’ expectations of what pupils can and should do are too low and they set work which is not challenging enough. This is especially apparent for the most for the most-able pupils and those with special educational needs.”

Inspectors said teachers do not follow the academy’s marking policy properly, so pupils can be unclear of how they can improve. The report also said that ”the level of teaching is not consistently good enough and leaders do not check teaching and progress enough”.

“The academy has not made effective use of pupil premium funding to improve the progress and attendance of disadvantaged pupils.”

However, despite criticism, inspectors said pupils feel safe and happy at the academy, and they are polite and sensitive to the needs of others and there is a wide range of after-school activities.

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