Pimlico Academy

Name Pimlico Academy
Website http://www.pimlicoacademy.org/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 01 December 2010
Address Lupus Street, Pimlico, London, SW1V 3AT
Phone Number 02078280881
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1165 (49% boys 51% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 14.8
Academy Sponsor Future Academies
Local Authority Westminster
Percentage Free School Meals 31.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 45.6%
Persisitent Absence 9%
Pupils with SEN Support 8.2%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

Pimlico Academy was opened in September 2008, sponsored by Future. The Principal joined the academy in September 2008 and almost all staff of the predecessor school transferred to the academy when it opened. The new building has been completed ahead of schedule. The academy has subject specialisms in history and visual and performing arts and is the only history specialist institution in the country. The sixth form is part of a local authority collaborative with two other schools. The majority of the academy’s students live in wards that are amongst the most socially deprived in the country. The proportion of students who are known to be eligible for free school meals is twice the national average. Nearly one quarter of all students are of White British heritage and the number of students who are advanced bilingual learners, or at early stages of acquiring English as an additional language, is high. The largest minority ethnic groups are Black Caribbean and Black African. Boys significantly outnumber girls. One third of students have moderate learning difficulties, dyslexia, behavioural, emotional and social needs and/or disabilities. This proportion is above the national average, as is the number of students with statements to meet their special educational needs.

Main findings

Pimlico Academy is outstanding as the Principal’s outstanding vision and leadership of his staff have ensured a true equality and high quality of educational opportunities for all students to excel. Since its opening in 2008, this ethos and practice have successfully raised educational aspirations and accelerated standards of learning from a very low base, and resulted in a genuinely cohesive learning community. The academy’s students are from a diverse range of cultural and social backgrounds and arrive with broadly national average levels of attainment; the vast majority of these make outstanding progress in their personal development and studies and attain above national average GCSE standards at 16. An excellent pastoral system and academic guidance, together with a stimulating learning environment, has resulted in students feeling safe and highly valued. They display respectful, exemplary behaviour and good leadership qualities. The vast majority are highly motivated and enjoy school greatly. Attendance and punctuality are exemplary. Year 9 students make the right choices in their subjects owing to the outstanding academic guidance and advice on next stages in learning together with personalised curriculum options in Key Stage 4. In addition, specialised literacy groups for Years 7 and 8 help younger students strengthen their reading skills. The academy has recognised the need to widen its sixth form curriculum and to ensure better induction for students progressing from Year 11 to Year 12. Teaching and assessment are good and enable mostly good and some outstanding progress for the majority of students in lessons. Although teachers have excellent data on their students’ abilities, not all are using this information to shape relevant questioning and tasks that meet the needs of boys, those requiring higher levels of challenge in their learning or those who have low levels of literacy, language and writing skills. Moreover, there are some inconsistencies in teachers’ checking of learning. Nevertheless, excellent tracking, highly responsive additional support, and personalised extra-curricular interventions are provided for students not on track to achieve their potential. These out-of-lesson sessions are well attended by students. A robust focus on self evaluation at all levels of the organisation and an ethos of continuous improvement through detailed monitoring of teaching has contributed significantly to raising standards. In some instances, lesson monitoring does not contain equal rigour of focus across all key stages, especially in the sixth form. In particular, observers focus less on the progress of individuals during learning activities and ensuring the checking of all students’ learning by teachers. The Principal, his management team and the sponsors have provided strong leadership in engaging a wide range of external partnerships, including local communities and parents. These, along with the excellent in-house Raising Aspirations programme, have underpinned the success of the academy. Overcoming the numerous challenges of high staff turn-over, poor student behaviour and low educational standards through establishing a highly positive ethos of achievement and inclusion within a relatively short time, serve to demonstrate the academy’s outstanding capacity to improve.