Outstanding leadership at Hastings secondary academy
Thu, Mar 1, 2018 10:48 AM

The effectiveness of leadership and management at The Hastings Academy, part of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, has been judged to be ‘Outstanding’ by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) following its inspection in January 2018. 

Overall, the academy was judged to be ‘Good’, with many aspects of excellent practice commended by the team of Ofsted inspectors. 

Ofsted highlighted that the Principal, Stuart Smith “has transformed the school since his recent appointment, by raising the whole school community’s expectations of what pupils can achieve” and that his “determination that all pupils, especially those that are disadvantaged, have a first-rate education, is unwavering. Together with his equally committed Vice-Principal, they inspire the highly motivated leadership team to strengthen and rapidly improve the school”. 

The leadership and support provided by the Trust and the Academy’s Local Board was also commended by inspectors: “The University of Brighton, the Academy’s sponsor, and the University of Brighton Academies Trust support the school well. Among other support, expertise from the Trust is used to support teaching and learning. Staff speak positively about the opportunities provided by the Trust”. 

The report also noted that:

  • The school is a calm and peaceful environment in which to learn.
  • Pupils are keen to learn and have positive attitudes towards school.
  • Pupils are proud to belong to their school.

Inspectors highlighted the support from parents and the community: “Parents say the school is well led and managed. They have a high regard for the Principal, senior leaders and staff at the school”. “Teachers have high expectations of what pupils can achieve” and “have good subject knowledge and understanding of examination requirements. This helps them to develop activities that are mostly well matched to pupils’ learning needs and capture their interests”.

Stuart Smith, Principal said: “I am delighted about and exceptionally proud of this report and the outstanding achievements of all our students, staff, parents and carers. This success is not down to one person – it has needed, and will continue to need, the commitment, dedication and belief of everyone involved. By working together with our community, we can support our students to achieve their ambitions and aspirations.

“Everyone at the Academy is committed to continuing to improve further and to addressing the recommendations in the report. We will celebrate what we have achieved, and everyone should be proud, but this is just the start and foundation of our future success.”

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: “I am delighted that the transformation of The Hastings Academy has been recognised in this way. This is an outstanding outcome for everyone at the Academy, the town of Hastings and its wider community”.           

Read the full report here