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Thornhill Improves Ofsted Rating

Ofsted has published its latest report following an inspection at Thornhill Academy in March 2022. Ofsted is clear that Thornhill is an improving school, where the quality of education is improving because teachers have higher expectations of what students can achieve. 

The Sunderland school’s Ofsted rating has improved from ‘Inadequate’ in 2017, prior to joining Consilium Academies in 2018, to ‘Requires Improvement’, bringing the school out of what was formerly known as ‘Special Measures’, and marking the significant progress the school has made.  

Ofsted inspectors highlighted the increased level of expertise and leadership seen at all levels of the school, showing Thornhill is moving in the right direction. Inspectors noted that leaders have begun to put in place a more ambitious curriculum, and that the curriculum structure has improved, making work more demanding. 

The report celebrates the many successes that leaders, staff and students have achieved, such as offering a better experience to students with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), improvements in the personal development offer, the increasing number of leadership opportunities for students in school, and careers advice which means that almost all students leave school with a definite destination.  

Inspectors highlighted elements where the school’s strong focus on pastoral care is paying off, including the good and warm relationships between students and staff, that students feel safe in school, and they know who to approach if they have any worries or concerns. The report also makes clear that staff morale is high, that they feel supported and well led by the Consilium Academies and school leaders.  

Sue Hamilton, Headteacher at Thornhill Academy, part of Consilium Academies, said: 

“I am confident of the changes that we have implemented at Thornhill and those that are still to come. This report highlights the excellent developments we’ve put in place and solidifies the fact that our improvements are right not only for our students and staff, but also for our wider community. 

“I am incredibly proud of the successes we have achieved far, but we must continue to focus on driving our improvement plans forward to ensure that all our areas for development are tackled and closely monitored.

“I want to thank our school community and wider trust team for their ongoing support and dedication to ensure that we continue to improve every aspect of education at Thornhill, providing all of our students with the very best.” 

David Clayton, Chief Executive at Consilium Academies, said:

“It is fantastic to see that Ofsted has recognised the positive changes that have been made at Thornhill since joining Consilium, as we all strive to ensure that our children can achieve anything they choose. We believe in them. 

“Our team shares the privilege of shaping the future of 6,071 students. And they all matter. That’s why, with the support of the trust, I know Thornhill will not only continue to improve on every area of development but surpass that goal in time. We have the right leadership in place to take forward this ambitious improvement plan, and I am confident that Sue and her team will more than deliver on it for our children and our community.”