John Cabot Academy in Kingswood is celebrating after being rated Good in all areas by the education watchdog Ofsted.

Inspectors praised leaders of the secondary school for their “single-minded determination to improve the quality of education on offer to pupils”.

Following a two-day visit last month, lead inspector Andrew Lovett said in his report:  “This is a rapidly improving school. Leaders and teachers are working effectively together to improve all the key aspects of school life.

“The executive principal and senior leaders are ambitious for the school. They have put good plans in place to achieve their goals. As a result, there have been notable improvements in behaviour and standards.”

Executive principal Sally Apps said: “We are delighted that the great efforts made by our staff and students are recognised in this report, which marks a significant milestone in our ambition to make this school outstanding by 2020.

“Ofsted acknowledges the turbulence the school faced after being judged as Requiring Improvement in 2016 and the resolute actions and decisions we took to bring about the changes needed. I am immensely proud of the progress so far and know the whole school community will work together to build on this success.”


The Ofsted report said: “Pupils are increasingly proud of their school. They recognise the school is improving and believe it is helping them to realise their ambitions.” Inspectors noted that most pupils had good attitudes to learning and said behaviour in lessons was good, meaning that teachers could focus on teaching and students could concentrate on learning.

“Pupils treat each other well. They are lively and friendly. Relationships between pupils and teachers are warm and respectful.”

John Cabot Academy is part of the Cabot Learning Federation multi academy trust and has 1,147 students aged 11 to 18. The report said the sixth form, which has 348 on roll, was a strength of the school.

Other highlights in the report included:

  • GCSE standards rose significantly in 2018
  • Maths is a strength and standards of literacy are high
  • The most-able students are encouraged to stretch themselves
  • Students with special educational needs and disabilities make good progress
  • Progress of disadvantaged students have improved substantially
  • Pupils in every year group make good progress
  • Keeping pupils safe is given the highest priority.

The inspectors said teachers had high expectations for all students and were ambitious for them. They praised the curriculum offer at the school, which they said provided the opportunity to study a broad range of subjects, supplemented by a strong mix of artistic and cultural experiences and an inclusive timetabled enrichment programme.

They were also impressed with the pastoral support for students and the strong personal, social and health education programme.

Inspectors praised the trustees of the Cabot Learning Federation, describing them as experienced and well-trained. The Ofsted report said of them that “Trustees monitor the school’s effectiveness closely. …. As a result of the scrutiny process, the multi-academy trust executive leadership team has been able to ensure that appropriate support for leaders and teachers has been put in place and is having an impact.

The report said the school should Improve teaching, learning and assessment, and hence raise standards, by ensuring that all teachers have equally high expectations of all pupils.

It also recommended that communication with families should be improved and leaders should ensure that all parents and carers felt their concerns were being addressed.

Chief Executive of the Cabot Learning Federation, Steve Taylor said: “I am delighted for John Cabot pupils and their parents and carers; their confidence and pride in their school has been given an additional boost with this affirmation from Ofsted. The academy remains a great place for a child to be educated, which is testament to the hard work and commitment of teachers and leaders at the school.”