Ofsted says teaching of music is not good enough at music academy

Nick Weller

Nick Weller

First published in News

A primary music academy has been told it "requires improvement" by government inspectors, who say the teaching of music there is not good enough.

The first Ofsted report into Dixon's Music Academy, a free school which opened in September 2012, was released yesterday. The chief executive of the Dixons academy chain said the school was very disappointed with the report, and feels the judgement does not reflect the achievements of the pupils and staff.

When it opened it was the first school of its kind in the UK, and the school is co-located with secondary school Dixons Trinity Academy on Trinity Road.

The school was inspected in May, and yesterday's report says both teaching and achievement are "not consistently good." A specialist music academy, the report adds: "The leadership of the academy's music specialism is not effective."

The report also includes several positives - it says pupils' behaviour is good, that adults in the school are "excellent role models" and that there is a "strong and effective partnership" with sister academy Dixons Trinity, which was named outstanding earlier this year. It also praises the "dedicated leadership" of headteacher Michelle Long.

There are currently only 90 pupils at the school - it reception and year 1, and it will not reach full capacity until 2018.

But inspectors feel the school has to improve the way music is taught, saying: "The school should ensure that the leadership of music is strengthened and improved so that standards in all aspects of music development are the highest they can be and reflect the high aspirations of the academy in this subject." Teaching of singing is described as being "not as good as it needs to be," but the report is more positive about the instrumental teaching students receive, saying it allows pupils to "develop skills beyond their years, and this is clearly motivating pupils."

Some of the school's pupil premium money - given to help improve achievement for disadvantaged children, is spent on "universal provision" such as music tuition which the report says should already be an entitlement for all academy pupils.

The report also calls for an external review of governance and how the school spends pupil premium money.

Nick Weller, executive principal of the Dixons Academies, said the school had lodged a complaint with Ofsted before the report was released, and were unhappy with how the inspection was carried out. He added: "We are extremely disappointed that our complaint about this inspection has not been upheld.

"Our pupils in reception and year 1 are making excellent progress in writing, reading and maths and in a year's time when the results of our first Key Stage One cohort are published we are very confident that Ofsted will have to grade the school as good - if not better."

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree