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UPDATED: Ryde Academy has been rated a ‘good’ school by Ofsted following an inspection last month, a contrast to the previous rating of ‘requires improvement’ in 2014.

Ofsted says that the Pell Lane school is rapidly improving and has a strong culture of learning. Pupils’ attainment and progress is said to be rising and behaviour has significantly improved.

The academy has been rated as ‘good’ across the board, apart from in 16-19 study programmes which still requires improvement. Students in the sixth form are said to achieve less well in academic subjects than they do in work-related courses and are not always on suitable courses.

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Joy Ballard, the principal of Ryde Academy has been praised for her work. Ofsted inspectors have noted a rapid improvement in all aspects of school life since she joined as head of the school in 2015. Mrs Ballard is said to be an inspirational leader and pupils, staff and parents are unanimous in their appreciation and they share her ambitious vision.

It has been recommended to Ryde Academy that in order to improve further, they should reduce the remaining inconsistency in the quality of teaching by ensuring that teachers challenge pupils to think deeply; further raise the achievement of pupils across the school, particularly the most able and develop a clear strategy that strengthens students’ performance in academic subjects in the sixth form, and the advice offered about course suitability before starting in the sixth form.

Joy Ballard has said:

“I am so very pleased with Ofsted’s observations of how quickly the Academy has improved and their judgement that we are a ‘Good’ school. Our staff and students really deserve this recognition, they have simply been amazing and every child deserves to go to a good school.

“Continuing to raise attainment and embedding the new systems we have in our 6th form are already our priorities for this year in our improvement planning and I am confident that we are well on our way to achieving the coveted Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ grade in the future.”

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Lesley Holmes, Chair of Governors said,

“The Ofsted grading of “Good” for Ryde Academy is one that is well deserved by Joy Ballard, her senior leadership team, all staff, students and Governors.

“It’s also very important recognition for education standards on the Island, the Ryde community and especially parents who have chosen a local school that is determined to raise standards and educational attainment for their children and young people. Ryde Academy has a very bright future.

“The Ofsted report, along with the building of the new school, means that the Academy is well on the road to the success that everyone has worked for and that students and the community deserve. It looks like 2017 will continue to Shine Bright!”

UPDATE MONDAY – Councillor Chris Whitehouse (Newport West Ward), who speaks for the Island Conservatives on Education, has said:

“What a fantastic Christmas present for all at Ryde Academy. JoyBallard, her leadership, team, the teachers and above all the parents and students can be proud of this great achievement.”

Councillor Jonathan Bacon, leader of the Isle of Wight Council, has enthusiastically welcomed this outcome and said:

“This is great news for all the students attending Ryde Academy, their parents and the wider community. I am very grateful for the strong leadership of Joy Ballard and the hard work and dedication of her staff team. Joy has provided inspirational leadership since she joined the academy and I have no doubt that the school will continue to build upon this achievement.

“I am also optimistic that this outcome will be replicated by other secondary schools across the Island when they are re-inspected later this academic year. Ofsted outcomes are demonstrating that education has turned the corner on the Island and we need to build upon the improvements being made to create a truly world class education system.”

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