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IKB Academy's first Ofsted report shows good progress

In the Ofsted report, the academy's principal was praised for her strong leadership

Posted by Lucinda Reid | May 10, 2018 | School life

IKB Academy in Keynsham, which launched in 2015, received its first review from Ofsted inspectors and was rated ‘Good’ for the quality of its teaching and learning and student progress. This is a strong achievement for a school that is less than three years old. Inspectors praised the principal, Debbie Gibbs, as a strong leader “who has built a popular and successful school from scratch”.

According to Ofsted, several parents and carers described Debbie as “inspirational”. The inspectors also highlighted pupils’ good behaviour as being a strength of the school and commented that pupils were respectful towards each other and staff, reflecting the high expectations of school leaders.

IKB Academy is part of Wellsway Multi Academy Trust, which the inspectors see as having added value to the school by ensuring that the academic curriculum is broad and balanced. In addition to science, technology, engineering and mathematics at IKB, students can study additional subjects at Wellsway School on the same site. As a result, many students have gained places in Russell Group universities and Oxbridge while others have secured apprenticeships in the STEM industries. Inspectors also recognised that the relentless focus on improving academic outcomes for pupils has resulted in pupils of all abilities making good progress. 

Commenting on IKB’s first Ofsted report, Debbie said: “We have come a long way in just two years and our first Ofsted report recognises how far we have travelled. I’m particularly pleased that the quality of our teaching and learning has been recognised, alongside the additional opportunities our students get in their STEM subjects.” 

Debbie is a dedicated principal who has worked tirelessly to start a school from scratch, supported by a talented staff team

Today, IKB has 170 students, aged 14 -19, and continues to grow as it moves towards its capacity of 300, with students from Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The inspection team have tasked the school with improving the impact of the work it does to promote students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness and their understanding of the fundamental British values that underpin the work of schools. This is the next focus for the leadership team at IKB, working from its now strong academic base.

Andrea Arlidge, Chief Executive of Wellsway Multi Academy Trust, which runs IKB, added: “I and the Trust board are delighted by what Debbie and her team at IKB have achieved so far in a short space of time. Debbie is a dedicated principal who has worked tirelessly to start a school from scratch, supported by a talented staff team. We’re very proud of the school and the opportunities it provides for youngsters who have an interest in STEM subjects. Schools like IKB are vital for the future success of Greater Bristol – with its engineering and tech businesses – and our country, and it’s encouraging to see it has been recognised as getting off to a good start. We have no doubt that IKB will continue go from strength to strength, reflected in growing student numbers.”

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