John Madejski Academy

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About John Madejski Academy

Name John Madejski Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Dr Michael Milner
Address 125 Hartland Road, Reading, RG2 8AF
Phone Number 01189370200
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 891
Local Authority Reading
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils know that their learning and progress through the curriculum are being hindered by poor behaviour.

Lessons are characterised by pupils showing a lack of respect to staff and to each other. Recent staffing changes have added to this situation; the many new staff do not know pupils' needs well enough. They do not adapt learning activities to meet these needs.

Pupils, especially pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), do not learn well enough.

There are strengths in the school. Where staffing has been more stable, and in the sixth form, standards are higher.

Respectful routines are followed, and pupils do well. Those who... participate in the varied sporting and extra-curricular activities benefit from a rich set of experiences.

Despite their frustrations, pupils and staff are positive about the new leadership team which, they recognise, is already making a difference.

They appreciate the practical support from the multi-academy trust (MAT) and know these additional staff are helping to establish calm routines. Pupils know that many adults at the school will listen to and act on their worries. However, pupils know that the current overall culture in the school is not acceptable.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Pupils in Years 7 to 11 experience a fragmented curriculum overall with lessons that lack coherence and ambition. Expectations for the quality of pupils' work are low. Unfinished and poor-quality work from pupils is accepted.

The school has provided high-quality support and resources from partners in the MAT. Where this strong curriculum thinking is adopted, pupils are doing better. However, too often, these plans are not followed.

To compound these issues, a large proportion of staff are new and have not yet built positive working relationships with pupils. Information about pupils with SEND has not been shared effectively and learning is not adapted to meet these pupils' needs. Where intervention programmes have been tried, there have been early signs of success, but the programmes have not continued.

This is the case for pupils who need help to become fluent and confident readers; early gains with this have not been embedded. Overall, pupils are not achieving as well as they should.

Alongside the poor curriculum quality is poor behaviour in many lessons and around the school.

A lack of engagement where pupils talk over the teacher and each other can be seen in most lessons. Where staff try to follow the new behaviour support approach to address this lack of respect and self-discipline, groups of pupils can be dismissive. Lateness to lessons is typical and leaders move around the school, encouraging pupils to go to their classrooms.

There are a few areas, including the sixth form, where it is very different. Here, relationships are calm and positive, and pupils make good progress through their planned curriculums. Sixth-form lessons, in particular, are characterised by determined focus and engaged discussions.

Typically, these are the areas with more established relationships and curriculums. Here, staff expertise can be seen in the level of work and the selection of tasks. Sixth-form students do well overall, gaining the qualifications to achieve their destinations of choice.

They are supported well to identify and plan for these through the tutoring programme and work-related learning.

Through the school, careers information, education, advice and guidance is provided at an appropriate level. For pupils in Years 7 to 11, other opportunities for wider development are mixed and too often ad hoc.

Few make the most of the activities available and take-up of extra-curricular activities by disadvantaged pupils is low. Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) lessons contain useful information, but the school has changed what pupils learn about due to the lack of suitably trained staff. Consequently, pupils have missed opportunities to revisit and consider ideas in detail.

They know about important topics, such as democracy and protected characteristics, but do not know how to discuss their knowledge in a meaningful way.

Attendance has fallen. This is particularly the case for pupils who were attending alternative provisions and are now expected to attend school every day.

The school has analysed the possible causes for the drop in attendance carefully and is working with pupils and families to address this. It is too soon to see the impact of this work.

Leaders and trustees are under no illusions about the work required to address these significant weaknesses.

The actions already in place demonstrate their ambition and capacity to secure the required improvements. Support from the trust is well considered and comprehensive. Staff welcome the additional training and resources.

They recognise the expertise and determination of the new leadership team and understand the reasons for the changes they are making.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Pupils regularly misbehave in lessons.

This takes up teachers' time and prevents other pupils from hearing instructions or getting on with their learning. The school needs to continue to implement their agreed routines and approach to improving behaviour across the school. ? Too often, curriculum plans and resources are not delivered as intended and too many pupils experience lessons that do not build their knowledge well.

The school should ensure that all staff know what is expected of them and how to use the resources consistently well. The provision for pupils with SEND is weak and they do not benefit from a high-quality education overall. The school should ensure that all staff know how to adapt activities to meet the needs of all pupils in all lessons.

• In many subject areas, expectations of pupils are too low. Many pupils produce work of poor quality and are not challenged to complete or improve it. The school should ensure that all understand the standards that are expected and provide support for all to achieve those standards.

• The planning for the PSHE curriculum is weak. Pupils do not routinely revisit or reflect on their learning about the wider world. The school should ensure that this important learning is structured appropriately.

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