Success & Ofsted

“Outstanding in every aspect”

In 2011, Ofsted inspected Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy and rated the school “Outstanding”. 

This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and five additional inspectors. Inspectors observed teaching and learning in 52 lessons taught by 51 teachers. They held meetings with the senior leaders, staff, the Chair of the Governing Body, students and the School Improvement Partner. Inspectors observed the academy’s work, and looked at documentation including data regarding students’ progress, improvement plans, the academy’s self-evaluation, monitoring records and procedures for safeguarding students. They analysed 642 questionnaires returned by parents and carers, as well as 113 completed by staff and 148 responses from students. 

The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school’s work. It looked in detail at a number of key areas.

  • The consistency with which teaching promotes outstanding learning and progress across the curriculum.
  • The impact of training school status and the academy’s various specialisms on provision and outcomes in the main academy and in the sixth form.
  • The success with which leaders and managers at all levels foster, share and celebrate best practice. 
Alongside their academic and pastoral assessments, the inspection team also commented that co-curricular activities are 'a major strength of the academy, encompassing a wide range of sporting, cultural and social activities.'

Ofsted 2011

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In 2017, the SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) report from the Church of England graded the Academy 'Outstanding' in every category and 'Outstanding' overall. 

In his report, the Inspector, Rev'd Canon Stephen Harvey, wrote:

"The distinctiveness and effectiveness of Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy as a Church of England school are outstanding.

  • A distinctively Christian vision and set of values are deeply embedded in the life of the school and have a profound impact on the lives, wellbeing and flourishing of learners and adults.
  • The school’s leaders are deeply committed to the school as a church school. They articulate, from personal conviction and with confidence, a compelling Christian vision.
  • Collective worship has a central place in the life of the school. It is of high quality and has a very significant impact on the lives and aspirations of the whole community.
  • A very strong RE department is highly effective in promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development."

SIAMS Report 2017


In 2017, Ofsted inspected Ripley TSA school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) and rated the SCITT Outstanding in every category

This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and an Ofsted inspector in accordance with the ‘Initial teacher education inspection handbook’. Inspectors focused on the overall effectiveness of the ITE partnership in securing high-quality outcomes for trainees.

Stage 1 of the inspection took place in May and focussed on current trainees, then Stage 2 took place in September, focussing on those same trainees in their first teaching posts. Over the course of the two-stage inspection, inspectors met with trainees and NQTs; school staff with responsibility for teacher training and NQT induction; headteachers; the SCITT director and administrator; the link tutor; the external moderator; and subject mentors. Inspectors also spoke with pupils and looked at their work.

Inspectors scrutinised a range of documentation, including self-evaluation and improvement planning documents; trainees’ files; information on trainees’ attainment, employment and completion rates. Inspectors took into account 13 responses to Ofsted’s online trainee questionnaire which trainees completed in 2017. In addition, inspectors carried out checks to determine whether the partnership meets all statutory criteria and requirements for initial teacher education (ITE)

The final grades are as follows:

Overall effectiveness
How well does the partnership secure consistently high-quality outcomes for trainees?

  • Grade 1 - Outstanding

The outcomes for trainees

  • Grade 1 - Outstanding

The quality of training across the partnership

  • Grade 1 - Outstanding

The quality of leadership and management across the partnership

  • Grade 1 - Outstanding

Ripley TSA Ofsted 2017