A school in County Durham is celebrating a glowing Ofsted report after inspectors praised the school's transformation from 'inadequate' to 'good'.

Hermitage Academy, Chester-Le-Street, has bounced back and registered the impressive inspection after wowing Ofsted inspectors.

Since their sponsorship in 2019 from the North East Learning Trust (NELT) the school has undergone rapid improvements with the inspectors observing that ‘the trust has supported the school in its curriculum design’ and that the ‘leaders are ambitious that all pupils will be successful’. 

Over the two-day inspection, every aspect of Hermitage Academy was scrutinised with the inspectors highlighting the fact that staff have high expectations of pupils' behaviours having motivating rewards system in place.

The school was described as ‘calm and orderly’ being praised for its effective personal development programme enabling students to become well-rounded individuals.

It was acknowledged that the school provides clear guidance helping students in both the main school and sixth form ‘move onto positive destinations’. 

The inspectors found that Hermitage Academy has a curriculum that is ‘well designed and delivered effectively’. They commend the school for giving their students an abundance of opportunities to ‘contribute to the life of the school’ now grading them as ‘good’ in all areas. 

Head of School at Hermitage Academy, Lindsay Maughan was delighted at the judgement saying: “The children are at the heart of everything we do, and we are proud to be able to provide them with a fantastic education. They have adapted to the changes brilliantly and their enthusiasm and resilience have been second to none. We are also hugely grateful for the support that our parents/carers have given us during our journey, it has impacted our school greatly.  

I must finally extend my thanks to every single member of staff who has worked so hard to implement the changes here at Hermitage Academy. I am incredibly proud of everyone and I look forward to what’s next for Hermitage Academy.”  

Yvonne Weston, Executive Headteacher at Hermitage Academy, added: “I am thrilled that Ofsted has recognised the rapid improvements that have taken place at Hermitage Academy. The grading has been raised by not one, but two whole grades, which is a fantastic achievement.” 

NELT Chief Executive Officer, Lesley Powell CBE commented: “I am delighted with the outcome of the recent inspection. It is the result of a huge amount of work across all aspects of the school, from implementing a strong and rich curriculum to transforming the building to make it an inspiring place for students. I am pleased to read that the inspectors have given the school such high praise.” 

Jim Blower, Chair of Governors, added: “I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the turnaround at Hermitage. Change doesn’t happen overnight and is a culmination of the hard work and dedication I have been witness to. The brilliant result is truly well deserved.”