Paddington Academy

Name Paddington Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 19 October 2011
Address 50 Marylands Road, London, W9 2DR
Phone Number 02074793900
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Christian
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1216 (48% boys 52% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 12.9
Academy Sponsor United Learning Trust
Local Authority Westminster
Percentage Free School Meals 36.6%
Percentage English is Not First Language 89.6%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available Yes, our last distance offered data is FREE

Information about the school

Paddington Academy opened in September 2006 and moved into a new building in September 2007. The students come from a wide range of socio-economic, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. Most are from minority ethnic groups, the largest being of Black African and Bangladeshi heritages. Kosovan, Iraqi and Black Caribbean heritage students are the next largest groups. Almost three quarters of students speak English as an additional language with over 50 first languages spoken. The most common languages other than English are Arabic, Albanian and Bengali. The proportions of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and those known to be eligible for free school meals, are much higher than found nationally. A high number of students join partway through their education. The academy has specialisms in media, performing arts, business and enterprise. It was awarded Healthy Schools status in 2010.

Main findings

Paddington Academy has sustained rapid improvement since the previous inspection to become an outstanding academy under the exceptional leadership and direction of the Principal and senior leaders. The promotion of equality of opportunity is exemplary. It is at the heart of the academy’s work and underpins students’ good and sometimes outstanding learning and progress, together with the exceptional care, guidance and support they receive. Examination results have improved steadily at GCSE and A Level and are above the national averages. Achievement in English, mathematics and the specialist subjects is particularly strong. Assessment data about the achievement of different groups of students including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, those who speak English as an additional language and those who join partway through their education, are monitored meticulously to ensure that all groups make similar good progress from starting points that are below average. The academy is extremely effective in supporting and guiding students in their choices of how to behave. It does not shy away from confronting issues of gang culture, and the anti-social behaviour that exists in some of the local neighbourhoods. The reinforcement of high standards and positive role models are used to challenge the moral and social complexities surrounding peer group pressure so that students know and understand that ’the street stops at the academy gate’. Attendance is high because all students feel extremely safe and secure. They are proud to be part of the academy community, behave well and show high levels of respect for each other, adults and for the academy environment. Bullying and racism is very rare and dealt with quickly and effectively. One student reflected the views of many by reporting that, ’Learning never stops because staff bring out the best in you.’ The majority of teaching is good or better because senior and middle leaders are building up a detailed and accurate analysis of how and why effective teaching improves students’ achievement. This is shared among all staff and used to inform high quality professional development and continually raise expectations. Teaching and learning are not outstanding overall as best practice is not demonstrated consistently across all teams. The pace of learning slows in a minority of lessons where students are not given sufficient opportunities to reflect on what they have learnt before moving on to the next stage. Students’ good learning is supported well by an inclusive curriculum that is tailored to the needs of individuals. Highly effective partnerships particularly with parents and carers, local community groups, local authority organisations and business partners are well established, and are actively involved in improving outcomes for all students. The sixth form makes a good contribution to the academy community and has effective leadership. Since the last inspection monitoring and analysis has been sharpened to make sure that students are being placed on appropriate courses that match their abilities and interests. As a result, achievement is rising and a culture where students expect success is being established. Staff members at all levels understand the journey that the academy has been on and share an explicit vision for further improvement. Very effective self-evaluation, combined with the academy’s track record for sustained improvement, underpins its outstanding capacity to improve.