The Burgess Hill Academy, one of 15 Sussex schools that make up the University of Brighton Academies Trust, has received a Good rating from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).
Ofsted noted: ‘The principal, Jon Francies, has worked tirelessly to create an ambitious culture, characterised by raised expectations, improved standards and strong pastoral care. His compelling vision of a school at the heart of the community is shared and promoted vigorously by staff, pupils and parents.’
The positive Ofsted findings also acknowledge a clear culture where: ‘Pupils’ well-being and safety have an extremely high priority in the school. Pupils are kind to each other and respectful and are valuable members of their community, taking part in a wide range of fundraising and local events.’
Staff, the report found, felt valued, with one staff survey respondent stating: ‘It has been a breath of fresh air to be encouraged to do what we do best.’
The Burgess Hill Academy Principal, Jon Francies said: " I am proud of this assessment and to lead a talented and well qualified staff who hold a firm belief in all of our students' abilities to achieve. We are committed to ensuring that every child will leave with the qualifications, enrichment experiences and employability skills they need for life beyond The Burgess Hill Academy. Furthermore, we encourage students to take part in the many and varied extra-curricular opportunities on offer.”
This is the school’s first Ofsted inspection since opening as an academy in 2016 and Ofsted commended the University of Brighton Academies Trust and the academy’s Local Board in providing: ‘Rigorous oversight of standards, safeguarding and finances. School leaders benefit from good-quality guidance given by key staff from the multi-academy Trust. The school’s rapid progress is a direct result of the support and challenge given to leaders by the Trust.’
Dr John Smith, Chief Executive, University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: "I whole-heartedly congratulate The Burgess Hill Academy on achieving Good across all areas of inspection. I note Ofsted’s recognition that pupils are proud of their school and show considerable willingness to ‘have a go’. The pupils’ growing academic, musical, sporting and dramatic successes all illustrate that enthusiasm and drive. This result is confirmation that both The Burgess Hill Academy and the University of Brighton Academies Trust are meeting our ambitions to deliver excellent education and improve the lives of children across Sussex.”
The Ofsted report also notes of The Burgess Hill Academy:
* Results show pupils’ progress in English, mathematics and a range of other subjects was in line with, or, as in the case of humanities, better than that seen nationally in 2018.
* Pupils are well prepared for their next steps. Almost all pupils go on to appropriate destinations and courses at local colleges and apprenticeship providers.
* Leaders have acted with determination to bring about significant improvements in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment since the school became an academy.
* Staff help pupils to be resilient and resourceful and relationships between staff and pupils are cordial and warm.
* Pupils in all year groups display very positive attitudes to their school and their learning and seize the many opportunities the school provides for them to develop their interests and aptitudes.