Lord Derby Academy

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About Lord Derby Academy

Name Lord Derby Academy
Website http://lordderbyacademy.co.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Head of School Miss Victoria Gowan
Address Seel Road, Huyton, Liverpool, L36 6DG
Phone Number 01514778860
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1072
Local Authority Knowsley
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils know that they must be ready to learn when they step over the green line at the school entrance at the start of each day. This physical marker is an effective reminder to pupils to conduct themselves in line with leaders' high expectations.

Leaders have redesigned the curriculum for pupils. It is now suitably broad and ambitious. While the impact of leaders' curriculum changes were not reflected in pupils' GCSE examination results in 2022, current pupils are achieving well.

Pupils feel happy and well cared for at Lord Derby Academy. They said that there are staff who they can talk to about their worries. This helps pupils to feel safe in school.

Pupils... learn about the importance of treating each other with kindness and respect. They said that it is easy to make friends in this school. Leaders deal with any incidents of bullying swiftly and effectively.

Leaders encourage pupils to be active in the school community. For example, pupils can share ideas for change through a 'positive action' suggestions box. Leaders consult the pupil parliament about many aspects of school life.

Pupils said that leaders respond to their suggestions, for example they provided table tennis equipment for use during breaktimes.

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

Leaders are aspirational for pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). For example, most pupils in key stage 4 study the English Baccalaureate suite of subjects.

Leaders have taken appropriate action to improve the curriculum. They have been successful in ensuring that the curriculum better meets pupils' learning needs. Leaders have provided effective support for subject leaders.

Subject leaders have organised their curriculums carefully so that teachers know what important information pupils must learn and when they should learn it. Pupils typically learn well.

Subject teachers work well together to design effective learning activities.

Most act swiftly to address pupils' misconceptions in lessons when they arise. However, in some subjects, teachers do not carefully check how well pupils remember important information over time. This means that some pupils develop gaps in their knowledge that teachers do not identify as quickly as they should.

Leaders have strengthened their processes for identifying pupils who struggle with their reading knowledge. Leaders have made sure that staff have the skills to help these pupils to read accurately and fluently. Pupils spoke very positively about how getting better at reading has helped them to learn more effectively.

However, some of the oldest pupils who find reading difficult have not benefited from this reading programme over their time in school. This hinders how well these pupils can access the curriculum.

Leaders act swiftly to identify the needs of pupils with SEND.

Teachers receive detailed information about the adjustments to the delivery of the curriculum required by these pupils. Teachers use this information effectively to help these pupils to learn well.

Leaders have made sure that most pupils understand the link between behaving well and achieving highly.

Leaders have established routines that promote positive behaviour. Pupils are attentive and respectful to staff. Learning is not usually disrupted by poor behaviour.

However, leaders have identified that behaviour remains a barrier to learning for a small number of pupils. Leaders are determined to ensure that these pupils still have access to their education. Leaders provide well-thought-out support to these pupils, which helps them to learn to manage their own behaviour.

This means that, whenever possible, they can learn alongside their peers.

Leaders are committed to broadening pupils' awareness of the wider world. Pupils learn about the different types of families, as well as different faiths and cultures.

Pupils in the pupil parliament helped to write an equality charter for everyone to follow. Leaders ensure that pupils are well prepared for their lives in modern Britain.

Pupils experience a strong careers programme, which begins in Year 7.

Leaders ensure that pupils receive the information that they need to make appropriate choices about their next steps in education or employment.

Leaders at all levels are sharply focused on improving pupils' outcomes. Added to this, leaders recognise that pupils' achievement in the 2022 GCSE examinations was weak.

This is attributable to weaknesses in the predecessor curriculum.

Trustees and governors provide support and challenge to school leaders to help them to improve the quality of education that they provide for pupils. Staff are immensely proud to work at this school.

They appreciate the consideration that leaders have for their workload and well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that pupils' welfare is a high priority.

Staff are trained well to recognise changes in pupils' demeanour or behaviour which might suggest that they are at risk of harm. Leaders carefully monitor vulnerable pupils. Leaders work effectively with external agencies to secure appropriate and timely help for these pupils and their families.

Pupils learn important information about how to keep themselves safe through the wider curriculum. Leaders are proactive about consulting pupils to better understand their perspectives on their safety and well-being. For example, they meet with groups of girls to talk about their understanding of sexual harassment.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, teachers do not carefully check that pupils know and remember important information over time. As a result, some pupils develop gaps in their knowledge which are not addressed as swiftly as they should be. Leaders should ensure that teachers check that pupils remember what they have learned previously so that new learning builds securely on what pupils already know.

• Some older pupils who struggle with their reading have not received the help that they need in a timely way. This affects how well they can access the wider curriculum and prevents them from achieving as well as they should. Leaders should accelerate their plans to ensure that appropriate support is in place for those pupils who need it the most so that they learn to read well.

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