City of London Academy Islington (CoLAI), which is co-sponsored by the City of London Corporation and City, University of London, has been recognised for being a school where “no child is left behind” and where “outcomes are outstanding and pupils’ progress is exceptional” following a recent Ofsted inspection.
The school’s regulator, which visited between 13 and 14 March, said since the arrival of the headteacher, Clare Verga, in 2012, CoLAI has been transformed into an exciting environment where pupils and staff thrive.
The inspectors found that “teachers use information about their pupils to plan excellent lessons” and “they facilitate pupils’ learning by providing outstanding guidance.”
Ofsted said that the effectiveness of leadership and management was “outstanding” and that leaders set very high expectations for pupils’ behaviour and in turn this has resulted in the students being proud of their school and their achievements.
The report also stated that CoLAI has exceptional provisions for personal development and welfare which ensures that pupils quickly develop the skills they need to succeed in the school and in their future careers.
The inspections also found that “governance is an immense strength of the school.” The report said, “governors are well informed and very astute” and that they “hold leaders to account very effectively” and that they are “aware of the strengths and weaknesses in the school and provide challenge and considerable support where possible”.
Regulators also found that pupils’ outcomes, including disadvantaged pupils’, in GCSE exams are very strong across all subjects and “pupils of all abilities make outstanding progress because of the excellent teaching and the caring environment in the school”.
Ofsted also found that students at the school learn how to stay safe and staff are trained regularly in safeguarding and view this responsibility most seriously.
Clare Verga, Executive Principal of City of London Academy, Islington, said:
“I am delighted that we have been recognised as an outstanding academy in the work we do in serving our young people.
“It has been a journey of transformation at City of London Academy Islington and I am exceptionally proud of all students and staff for their contribution and hard work as an outstanding school.”
Henry Colthurst, Chairman of the City of Corporation’s Education Board, said:
“This is an exceptional Ofsted report and we are very pleased to see that inspectors have recognised the hard work and transformation that has taken place at City of London Academy Islington under the leadership of Clare Verga.
“As co-sponsors, the City of London Corporation and City, University of London are fully committed to providing access to excellent education and learning opportunities for children and young people in the capital.
“We will continue to work closely with Clare and the leadership of the school to ensure that it continues with this success.”
Professor Sir Paul Curran, President of City, University of London, commented:
“I am delighted that COLAI’s seven-year transformation has been recognised by Ofsted. The transformation was made possible by the school’s dedicated staff, committed pupils and exceptional Principal, Clare Verga.
“She has, through a mix of hard work and charismatic leadership, improved the life chances of thousands of COLAI pupils. City, University of London is proud to have co-sponsored COLAI as it made its journey to be, in the words of Ofsted, ‘an outstanding school’”.
The City of London Corporation sponsors or co-sponsors 10 schools across Hackney, Newham, Islington and Southwark. It also supports one maintained primary in the Square Mile as well as three independent schools.
In 2017 and 2018, Sutton Trust named the City Corporation as the UK’s best academy sponsor for empowering pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to perform above the national average, and the leading academy sponsor for Progress 8 and Attainment 8, which track pupil progress and achievement.
To read the full Ofsted report please click here