Priory Academy

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About Priory Academy

Name Priory Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Ian Bailey
Address Priory Academy, Britain Street, Dunstable, LU5 4JA
Phone Number 01582661158
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 9-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 770
Local Authority Central Bedfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Priory Academy continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive in the positive environment of this school.

They enjoy good relationships with each other and staff. Because the school's values are clear and well communicated, pupils know how to conduct themselves. They live up to leaders' high expectations.

In lessons and during social times, they show 'care and kindness' and often bring the best out of each other.

Pupils are safe at school. They value the work put into achieving the 'bully-free form' award.

Bullying is not common. When it does happen, staff deal with the situation quickly and effectively so that it stop...s and does not continue. Pupils feel confident that they have adults they can speak to if concerns arise.

Pupils understand how to keep themselves safe at school, home and in the community.

Pupils take responsibility for themselves and others. They make many positive contributions to the work of the school.

For example, pupils capably take up positions as anti-bullying 'ambassadors', house captains and as members of the junior leadership team and the eco committee.

Pupils are proud of their achievements at school. They take learning seriously and approach tricky topics with determination.

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

Leaders have created an ambitious curriculum. The majority of pupils were entered for the English Baccalaureate. Leaders have organised the curriculum well and provide teachers with the guidance they need to teach the curriculum effectively.

Teachers deliver the curriculum in a sensible order so that pupils build their knowledge over time. Teachers provide regular opportunities for pupils to review what they have previously studied. This ensures that pupils remember what has been taught.

Teachers routinely check what pupils know and understand. Teachers provide effective support so that pupils do not fall behind, and they give useful feedback to pupils, supporting them to improve and deepen their learning.

Reading has a high profile at the school.

Leaders ensure that pupils read high-quality books that match their reading abilities. For pupils who find reading difficult, leaders have effective support measures in place. The weakest readers learn what they need to read more fluently.

Leaders accurately identify the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Generally, leaders provide guidance for teachers about how best to support each of these pupils' needs. Teachers use this advice consistently.

For some pupils, however, leaders' support is not sufficiently precise in order to help teachers design appropriate learning activities. When this happens, teachers do not provide the targeted support pupils need to overcome the specific challenges they face. This leads to some pupils with SEND not learning aspects of the curriculum as well as they could.

Teachers manage pupils' behaviour consistently well. Disruption to lessons is uncommon. Pupils understand the school's behaviour management system and most routinely behave well.

There is a very small minority of pupils who find regulating their behaviour difficult. Leaders' approach to supporting these pupils to avoid suspension is partially successful. Some of these pupils learn how to manage their behaviour effectively but others do not.

As a result, suspensions have increased over twelve months.

Leaders have planned a range of opportunities in the curriculum to enrich pupils' personal development. These contribute towards helping to prepare pupils to live harmoniously among people with differing beliefs and lifestyles.

Leaders prepare pupils well for adult life with high-quality guidance and information about the many careers pupils could pursue. Leaders ensure that pupils have opportunities to engage with providers of post-16 education and training and have contact with a range of potential employers.

Staff are positive about the quality of leadership at the school.

They appreciate leaders' efforts to ensure reasonable workload for teachers.

The trust and governors evaluate the school's effectiveness and constantly look for ways to improve the school. They know the strengths and weaknesses of the school and work well together to hold leaders accountable for the quality of the school.

Leaders use the expertise and capacity from the trust effectively in order to make necessary improvements.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders train staff well so that they know the signs of potential harm and what to do if concerns arise.

Staff are vigilant and act swiftly and appropriately when pupils appear at risk of harm. Leaders work well with external agencies to ensure that vulnerable pupils receive the support they need.

Leaders ensure that the necessary background checks are undertaken to determine the suitability of adults working at the school.

The record of these checks is well maintained.

The content of the curriculum effectively teaches pupils how to keep themselves safe, for example when online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders do not routinely provide detailed guidance and training about the specific needs for pupils with SEND.

As a result, teachers do not know, so do not provide, what these pupils need to overcome the specific challenges they face. Leaders must ensure that teachers have the exact information and training they need about how to support pupils with SEND so they achieve well. ? Leaders' support for pupils who find regulating their behaviour challenging is not effective for some pupils.

This means that these pupils behave in ways that result in suspensions from school. Leaders must put in place effective measures to support pupils with challenging behaviour that enable them to learn well in school.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in June 2017.

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