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Ofsted: City of London Academy Islington’s vision to transform lives “being realised”

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 its focus on “high-quality teaching and learning” and its vision to “transform lives” following a recent Ofsted inspection.

The schools regulator said the academy has shown “strong practice and marked improvement in specific areas” with a focus on “consistently improving outcomes for pupils”.

The inspectors found “pupils’ progress has significantly increased” and the academy’s vision to transform lives is “routinely being realised”.

Ofsted said the academy’s governors “bring knowledge and skills which support the strategic planning of the school”, and pupils “actively contributed to the calm and purposeful atmosphere during breaktimes and lunchtimes” with the pupils reporting that they receive “helpful advice and guidance about keeping themselves safe outside school and when working online.”

The report found “robust” safeguarding systems, teachers with “excellent subject knowledge” and lessons which teach children to reach higher grades. It praised school leaders for being “insightful”, “quick” and “sharp” to identify and address underperformance and putting in the necessary steps to overcome this.

They also found that there is a real focus on pupils who need extra support to improve their outlook on learning, resulting in greater engagement with their education and improved academic progress.

The Section 8 inspection was the first since the school was judged to be ‘Good’ by the regulator in March 2014. A Section 8 inspection is a review of schools judged as ‘Good’ in their most recent full Ofsted inspection. The aim of the inspection was to determine whether the school continues to provide a Good standard of education for pupils and if safeguarding is effective.

Following the Section 8 inspection CoLAI continued to receive a Good outcome.

Clare Verga, headteacher of City of London Academy, Islington, said:

“I am delighted with the outcome. It is a fantastic achievement that we should all be proud of.

“The hard work and success of all our students, staff, governors, parents and carers, has contributed to this achievement.

“It demonstrates to parents that we are making real achievements at the school and I look forward to our continued work together.”

Henry Colthurst, Chairman of the City of Corporation’s Education Board, said:

“We are very pleased with the Ofsted report and for how far City of London Academy Islington has come 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 congratulate all those whose efforts contribute to the Academy’s success. The continuing progress is testament to the strength of the relationships between the Academy’s governors, leadership team, staff, the City of London Corporation and the University”.

The City Corporation sponsors or co-sponsors 10 academies across Hackney, Newham, Islington and Southwark. In 2017, 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

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