OAT academies welcome Ofqual Chief Regulator

Sally Collier, Ofqual Chief Regulator, returned to her former Great Yarmouth schools, Ormiston Venture Academy and Ormiston Herman Academy on a special visit this month.

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The head of the qualifications and examinations regulator, toured the academies meeting with the students and staff, and experiencing first-hand the high-quality education being delivered.

Ormiston Venture Academy was first on the agenda. Ms Collier met with Principal, Simon Gilbert-Barnham and students at the secondary school in Gorleston-on-Sea. Whilst touring the academy, the Chief Regulator also met with student leaders, from ‘the Union of Venture Students’ – the Academy’s innovative student leadership structure based on a university style student union, which oversees every aspect of student life. They discussed their plans for the academic year ahead and what they are hoping to achieve.

Ms Collier then visited Ormiston Herman Academy, a primary academy, on Oriel Avenue, where she had been a former pupil herself. Acting as shining representatives for the academy, Year 6 ambassadors, Cerys Legget and Barney Price, led a guided tour of the school, alongside Principal Kate Rutherford.

Ms Collier visited a number of lessons, experiencing the academy’s unique approach to teaching and learning which are routed in mastery and social constructive theories of learning. This approach to teaching contributed to the academy’s achievement of record Key Stage 2 results this summer and also saw it praised by Ofsted in January, when the school was rated ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ early years provision.

As part of the tour of her former school, Ms Collier was also shown the recently refurbished dining hall boosting new modern facilities. She was also introduced to the House Enrichment Award Scheme and the breadth of extra-curricular activities on offer to pupils at the academy.

OAT has a strong regional hub in the East, where it currently has 10 academies and is gaining a reputation locally for providing educational excellence, setting high standards and raising the aspirations of young people – helping them to achieve their full potential.

This summer, the Eastern region academies celebrated success after achieving excellent results at every level of assessment, with many seeing results improving across the board.

The Trust, headquartered in Birmingham, has 34 academies across England, which are divided into four regional hubs, each overseen by a regional director. This structure allows for greater collaboration between academies and facilitates best practice sharing – with teachers and leaders able to share expertise, resources and experiences – greatly benefiting students across the network.

Sally Collier, Chief Regulator for Ofqual, said:

"I was delighted to meet the staff and students at both Ormiston Venture Academy and Ormiston Herman Academy. The visit was particularly special for me given my connections to the local area and having been a pupil at Herman myself. It was a pleasure to see first-hand how students at both academies are being inspired."

Nicole McCartney, Managing Director, Ormiston Academies Trust, commented:

"We were delighted to welcome Sally Collier to Ormiston Venture Academy and Ormiston Herman Academy. It was an excellent opportunity for both academies to showcase the continued improvement and successes being achieved through the hard-work and commitment of our students and staff."