A BRADFORD academy school is on the right tracks to improving, but fixed-term exclusion rates are still "far too high".

Queensbury Academy, in Deanstones Lane, had a monitoring visit from Ofsted on January 8.

It was a follow-up to the school's first inspection as part of the Feversham Education Trust, back in June 2019.

Queensbury received an Inadequate rating then, which meant the education watchdog had to check-in last month to see if the school's "serious weaknesses" were being addressed.

A number of key areas have been improved since the full inspection.

Eight members of staff have left the school, with ten new ones joining - this has included the appointment of "directors of learning" in English, modern languages and information technology.

Teachers are now more accountable for the quality of education at school.

The report states: "Leaders have introduced common strategies to build greater ambition and challenge into the curriculum.

"While there is still a long way to go, leaders are beginning to raise expectations of what pupils can achieve."

This includes training to build subject leaders' expertise and a more formal professional development programme, to help develop awareness of the standards expected of pupils.

Year 11 still remains a problem area though.

The report states: "Although progress showed a marginal improvement in 2019, it

remained weak.

"Leaders are striving to balance long-term improvement with more urgent action to support current Year 11 pupils.

"The trust is commissioning external support to provide extra tuition for pupils."

The inspector, Malcolm Kirtley, praised the school for taking prompt action when areas of underachievement are identified.

Queensbury is also now at the beginning of the road in improving its curriculum offering, bringing in experts in some subjects to aid the transition.

This goes in-hand with improved pupil behaviour.

The report states: "Year 10 and 11 pupils said standards of behaviour had transformed over the past two years.

"Staffing has become more stable leading to more secure relationships between pupils and staff.

"Year 7 pupils said they felt welcome and safe on arrival to the school."

But, a firmer behaviour policy adopted in November 2019 has led to a marked increase in fixed-term exclusions and days lost to exclusion for poor behaviour.

Overall absence also remains too high, but the school is working hard to improve this.

The report states: "Leaders have also secured a slight improvement in the attendance of disadvantaged pupils.

"In addition, leaders have seen an increase in the percentage of pupils securing 100 per cent attendance."

This has been achieved by building a strong attendance team, who work with families and provide a minibus service for the most vulnerable pupils.

The team also make regular home visits.

Leaders have also raised the profile of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Staff are receiving clearer information on how to help pupils with SEND, as part of this focus.

The report states: "While much needs to be done, staff are becoming more mindful of their responsibilities for pupils with SEND."

Queensbury is also receiving external help to change the tide.

The school has commissioned an experienced educational consultant to review their improvement actions at regular intervals, as well as making the decision to base important trust staff at Queensbury Academy.

This includes the CEO and trust improvement officers.

The report states: "This is an important step that recognises the school needs additional capacity on site to support ongoing improvement."

Queensbury Academy was approached for a comment, but did not respond.