The report of the Principal of Leeds West Academy is to provide the Inner West Community Committee with an update on Leeds West Academy.
Mr Christian Wilcocks, the Principal of Leeds West Academy (LWA) attended the Community Committee. A presentation was shown at the meeting with Mr Wilcocks updating the Community Committee on the progress and achievements since the section 5 inspection in June 2017 where OFSTED had reported that the school required improvement.
The presentation had been provided to the Members as supplementary information and published to the Leeds City Council webpage for the Community Committee.
Members were informed of the following key points:
· LWA was inspected again in July 2019 and it was report as good in all areas;
· LWA was the highest in Leeds for exclusions. However, in 2018, the school made a significant shift to lowering exclusions and it was the hope that this would continue;
· Attendance is still an issue at the school with attendance below the national average;
· The school was designed to accept 240 pupils per year group. This year the school has received 284 applications as the first choice academy;
· There has been an improvement in grades for examinations year on year with good progress being made in maths;
· Good attainment for Progress 8;
· The Strategic Plan is published to the school website. The school have tried to make the aims clear and for it to be easily accessible;
· The curriculum is reviewed to ensure that pupils are offered a broad choice of learning;
· Key Focus on behaviour programmes;
· Nurture Groups to assist those who are identified as being vulnerable. The principles are to work, eat and cook together, offering support to each other;
· Isolation/ seclusion is part of the behaviour policy. However, the school are trying to reduce the use of this facility and it is hoped that this facility will not be used in 18 months. The facility is staffed by year managers and the focus is on getting pupils back to the mainstream classes. LWA is looking at a programme developed by Carr Manor School called ‘Loose the Booths’ and it is hoped that this will become a way of working at LWA;
· The school has community links including;
o Learn to swim and Lifeguarding sessions at Bramley Baths with the CEO attending a meeting at the school;
o Free letting of rooms for community groups;
o Support primary schools in the area;
o Partly fund summer camps;
o Fund raising and social enterprise in local community;
· It was recognised that more community engagement was needed.
The school was congratulated on the progress and there was recognition for the influence the school has in the community.
Responding to questions from Members the Community Committee were informed of the following:
· It is still the intention of the school for students to have trips abroad, but they are still working on this charter. The school have again been asked to accept a bulge cohort;
· There are currently 2 students who have elected to be home educated, this is not something that the school encourage. The school do flag up to the relevant support teams when this happens;
· The school reviews its accessibility for all on a yearly basis;
· Drugs, alcohol and relationship awareness sessions are provided at the school as part of the curriculum;
· Where looked after children are identified they are designated to a School Governor, which is currently Cllr. Caroline Gruen who ensures that the individual is provided with a bespoke package for their needs. It was noted that the number of look after children on roll at LWA is low.
The Community Committee thanked Mr Wilcocks for his presentation and attendance at the meeting.
RESOLVED – To note the content of the report and presentation.