Outstanding First-time Result for Springwell Spalding

Staff and students at a Spalding school are celebrating after being rated Outstanding by inspectors in their first Ofsted inspection.

In the Ofsted report, released on 10th November, Springwell Spalding Alternative Academy was praised for its deep understanding of its pupils and ability to get the very best from them. The school opened in 2019 and caters for pupils who have been, or are at risk of being, excluded from mainstream school.

Inspectors reported that: “Staff at Springwell Alternative Academy make a difference to pupils’ lives. Pupils receive care, guidance and support in a warm and nurturing environment. Pupils who attend this school often have difficult previous school experiences, or have significant challenges in their lives. Staff understand this and have created a positive, supportive environment where pupils do well. There are kind, professional relationships between staff and pupils.”

They also highlighted the quality of the curriculum and teaching, stating: “The curriculum is carefully considered so that all pupils can maximise their learning whether they are at the school for a short period of time or longer… Pupils rapidly broaden their knowledge during their time here. The vast majority of pupils successfully reintegrate into a mainstream school or move on to suitable specialist provision. Year 11 pupils follow a highly personalised curriculum, which is broad and ambitious.”

The way Springwell Spalding engages pupils was also commended with inspectors reporting that: “Pupils enjoy attending this school. They value the opportunity to gain an education and benefit from the rich experiences offered to them, for example visiting authors, cooking meals to enjoy together and taking part in adventurous outdoor activities.”

Lisa Ashcroft-Day, Executive Principal at Springwell Spalding, said: “Since opening in 2019, the Springwell Spalding team has worked tirelessly to create something exceptional for our pupils and community. We’re incredibly proud to now have that recognised externally in this fantastic first Ofsted report.

“Our students often have had difficult experiences with education and we work hard to ensure that we turn that around when they come to us. We focus on developing a deep understanding of each student and giving them the support and compassion they need to thrive. We’re particularly proud that inspectors underlined our ‘positive regard for all’ approach and our high ambitions for our students. We want all our young people to have the skills and resources to move on to productive, successful lives and we’ll continue to work hard to make that happen.”

Mark Wilson, CEO at Wellspring Academy Trust, added: “Lisa and the team at Springwell Spalding have created something truly special. The school is warm, supportive, highly effective and provides its young people with the foundations they need for success. Inspectors were absolutely right to state that staff ‘make a difference to pupils’ lives.’ The Springwell Spalding team are changing lives every day and we’re all very proud to have them as part of the Wellspring community.”