A Dorset school has been praised for undergoing a “phenomenal transformational journey” since joining Wimborne Academy Trust (WAT).
Emmanuel CE Middle School in Verwood has been declared ‘Good’ across the board following a SIAMs (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) inspection.
This is the first time the school has received an independent inspection since joining WAT in January 2018 as a sponsored academy. Emmanuel was placed in Special Measures by Ofsted in February 2017.
Inspector, Lizzie McWhirter, said: “Being part of WAT has enabled Emmanuel Middle School to be on a transformational journey, whilst preserving its uniqueness, stirred by its vision and values.
“The leadership team has created a culture of high aspirations, going beyond the limits and empowering leaders within the school and harnessing talent amongst the trust.
“Pupils are passionate about the phenomenal change in the school, which is enabling them to live out the three values of excellence, endeavour and enjoyment.”
The inspector also praised the school for being a family unit, which provides support care and challenge – making it a place where everyone feels valued.
She said investing in existing and new leaders has resulted in rising standards and rapid improvement, especially in Key Stage 2 results.
Success stories include pupils who have been excluded becoming subject ambassadors, with one parent telling the inspector: ‘Emmanuel is more than a school. It is a unity. They are there when things are good and bad and work with you to get back on track.’
Ron Jenkinson, executive headteacher of Emmanuel, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the inspector has recognised the incredible journey we have been on.
“This success is down to the dedication of our staff, the support from Wimborne Academy Trust and the hard work and enthusiasm of all our pupils.”
CEO of Wimborne Academy Trust, Liz West, added: “Emmanuel Middle School is a very special place where everyone works for each other – it truly is one big family.
“It’s been an honour having Emmanuel join our family of schools and we knew that with direction and strategic support the school would soon be on the road to rapid improvement.
“We can see how the changes we have embedded have made a real difference to results while not changing what makes Emmanuel unique. I’m delighted that an independent inspector has recognised this as well.”
Note to editors: For more information please contact Rachel Read, account director at Deep South Media on 01202 534487.