PROGRESS has been made at a large Bradford school - but more work is needed for it to no longer be rated 'Inadequate', says education watchdog Ofsted.

Bradford Forster Academy, on Fenby Avenue in Cutler Heights, received the lowest possible rating following an inspection in March 2023.

Ofsted returned to the school, with over 991 pupils on its role, for a first monitoring visit last month on January 23 and 24.

The report said: "Leaders have made progress to improve the school, but more work is necessary for the school to be no longer judged as requiring special measures."

Since the previous inspection, the school has appointed a new principal - Gemma Earles was brought in last September.

The report said: "The additional leadership capacity has helped to ensure that the quality of education pupils receive is not neglected.

"The school is aware that the most recent set of examination outcomes in 2023 are weak.

"Whole-school initiatives to support learning have been introduced in a controlled manner."

Inspectors recognised improvements made across the board thanks to the work of staff and support from its trust, Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust.

The report noted progress in the strength of its leadership; attendance, quality of education, behaviour and personal development of pupils; and relations between staff, pupils and parents.

On behaviour, inspectors said: "While progress has been made, the school is not complacent and knows there is further effort needed to support pupils, both in and outside the classroom, when behaviour is poor."

A "clear strategy for how to address and improve attendance is in place", according to the report.

Attendance has "improved" and persistent absence has "reduced".

It said: "As a school, the focus on ensuring pupils are in class is having a positive impact.

"Fewer pupils are outside the classroom when they should be learning."

There have been changes to pupils’ uniforms since the last inspection.

Now there are "clearly defined expectations in terms of footwear and the wearing of coats inside the school". 

Mrs Earles said: “When I joined the school community last year, it was clear there was strong motivation from leaders, staff and pupils to further improve the academy and enhance its provision to ensure pupils received an excellent education.

"Not only is it reaffirming to see Ofsted recognise our commitment to this mission and the progress being achieved, but it is inspiring to be part of such a dedicated school community.”