UCL Academy earns successful Ofsted report

The UCL Academy has achieved ’good’ in all key areas in its latest Ofsted inspection and several aspects of the school’s work have been identified as outstanding.

The academy, which opened in 2012, is a mixed non-selective school in our home borough of Camden. The Academy has increased in size since its inception, and will house students from each year group, year 7 to sixth form, for the 2016/2017 school year.

UCL was the first university in the country to become the sole sponsor of a school. The partnership helps UCL to understand more about secondary education and ensures we continue to adapt and develop our approaches to teaching and learning to meet the needs of all of our students. 

Ofsted inspectors, led by Dame Joan McVittie, praised the progress of pupils at the school and highlighted the academy’s "high expectations". "Pupils are proud of the school," the inspectors said.

The inspectors said that teachers had good subject knowledge and "use every available minute for learning in class". "Pupils report that they enjoy their lessons and that staff are willing to help and support them," the inspectors said. The school has "an excellent climate for learning."

The inspectors particularly noted the benefits of the partnership with UCL and said that the academy sponsor "offers pupils exciting exposure to university life". Opportunities to visit and work with UCL enables pupils to "develop and use a range of social skills" and "investigate moral and ethical issues". "The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils is outstanding," the inspectors said.

UCL provides a comprehensive programme of support to enhance teaching at the UCL Academy. This includes activities for students beyond the classroom, staff development opportunities and avenues to engage with research.

In a letter to parents, the school’s Principal, Geraldine Davies, said she was delighted that the "inspection team fully recognised the wonderful ethos and culture" of the UCL Academy.

Professor David Price, chair of governors at the UCL Academy and Vice-Provost (Research) at UCL, said: "The UCL Academy set out to establish the highest standards for learning, teaching and pupil attainment. We wish to ensure pupils fulfil their potential in all spheres, and that they become engaged and enthusiastic citizens. This Ofsted report shows how far the school has come to achieve that. We look forward to seeing the academy go from strength to strength and continuing our strong partnership with it."

Professor Anthony Smith, UCL’s Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs), said: "On behalf of UCL, we’d like to congratulate the staff and students of UCL Academy on their recent Ofsted report. Our partnership brings many benefits to both the university and the academy. Since the academy opened four years ago, the university has developed a better understanding of the transition our students make from school to university and gained vital insights into the secondary education sector."

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