Essa Academy

Name Essa Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 15 May 2018
Address Lever Edge Lane, Bolton, Greater Manchester, BL3 3HH
Phone Number 01204333222
Type Academy
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 970 (58% boys 42% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.2
Academy Sponsor Essa Foundation Academies Trust
Local Authority Bolton
Percentage Free School Meals 29.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 80.2%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE

Information about this school

The academy is a member of a small multi-academy trust (MAT), the Essa Foundation Academy Trust (EFAT). A trust board oversees the work of all schools in the MAT and a local governing body has delegated responsibility for setting the direction of the academy. A new CEO was appointed in 2016. A new headteacher took up post in September 2017. Substantial staffing changes have taken place since the previous inspection and this will continue in the autumn term. The proportion pf pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium is above the national average. The proportion of pupils from a minority ethnic background is well above average, as is the proportion of boys. The proportion who speak English as an additional language is also well above average. The proportion of pupils who require an education, health and care plan or a statement of special educational needs is lower than the national average. A significant number of pupils join the school without information about their key stage 2 attainment. This is mainly because they are new arrivals to the country. These pupils join the school at different points during their secondary education. No use is made of alternative off-site provision. The academy meets the government’s current floor standards.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement Pupils’ progress and attainment are not good across a wide range of subjects because the quality of teaching is inconsistent. Teachers do not routinely match work to pupils’ needs and abilities as well as they should. Teachers do not support the development of pupils’ literacy, numeracy and communication skills effectively. The assessment system is weak. It does not help teachers to provide pupils with work that challenges them to make strong progress. It does not provide middle leaders with precise enough information to improve teaching in their areas and drive up pupils’ academic standards. Leaders do not have a sharp enough understanding of the impact of additional funding on the outcomes of disadvantaged pupils and those needing to catch up in Year 7. Pupils who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities are benefiting from improved provision, but their needs are not always met in lessons and their progress is not tracked closely. Low attendance impairs achievement for this group, as it does for disadvantaged pupils. Leaders do not ensure that parents and carers and are fully on board with the school’s improvement plans. Occasionally, pupils’ learning is hampered by low-level disruption, especially from boys, because some teachers do not tackle weaker behaviour firmly enough. Teachers’ skills in supporting pupils who are at the early stages of speaking English as an additional language, or who are new to the country, are underdeveloped. Consequently, these pupils do not receive effective support in lessons. The school has the following strengths The new headteacher is very ambitious on behalf of his pupils. He has the full support of his senior leaders, who are equally uncompromising in their desire for pupils to have the best possible life chances. Leaders have recently made significant changes to the curriculum. These changes are having a positive impact on pupils’ progress. Pupils value and celebrate cultural diversity. The trust and governing body have an accurate understanding of the quality of education that the school provides. School leaders have demonstrated convincingly the capacity for further improvement; for example, overall attendance has improved and is now close to the national average. Staff ensure that pupils are safe and their physical and emotional needs are well met.