Forest Academy in Hainault rated ‘good’ by Ofsted after rapid improvement

An Hainault headteacher has praised the efforts of both his staff and his students for turning around his school’s reputation.

Will Thompson took over in 2010 at the Forest Academy, Harbourer Road, and was tasked with the responsibility of improving a school which had been placed on special measures by Ofsted.

Yet, this week the school watchdog published its latest report on the secondary school and much to the delight of Mr Thompson, Ofsted considered the school to be “good” and to have “improved rapidly since it was opened”.

The academy also recently broke into the top 200 most improved schools in the country.

“It has been a fantastic journey,” said Mr Thompson, 49.

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“We were in the bottom 2 per cent of the country and now we are one of the most improved schools in the country.”

Mr Thompson freely concedes the real difficulties lie ahead and that he must ensure the school keeps improving.

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Ofsted warned in its report that pupils’ reading abilities have improved at a faster rate than their writing.

This will be one area of concern Mr Thompson and Beal High School – which is partnered with Forest Academy - will have to address to bump the school up from “good” to an “outstanding” rating.

Mr Thompson added: “I am immensely proud, particularly of the students and of the staff.

“It is unfortunate about the reputation the school had but thankfully Ofsted recognised the changes.

“It is because the whole school community both the students and the teachers who have achieved this.”

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