Ark Academy now runs the high school and parents are positive about the changes
Acton High School has become Ark Acton Academy and the Executive Principal along with a selection of parents believe major improvements have already been made.
The school on Gunnersbury Lane had been in Special Measures following the last inspection and Governors had resolved to hand control over to the Ark network after discussions with the Department for Education and Ealing Council.
The decision was met with anger and union members took industrial action last term, which was criticised by some parents.
Now, the new Ark Academy has taken over and Peter Haylock, Ark Acton Academy's Executive Principal told us, “It has been an excellent first half term at Ark Acton Academy. The staff and students have shown a real commitment to ensuring that the school is a success. There is a huge amount of potential in Acton and all the staff are keenly aware of what needs to be done to achieve real sustainable improvement. Our values are underpinning everything that is being done at the school and we are developing a culture that has students and staff aiming high, being kind, being brave and continuing their learning.”
“In a short space of time we have really seen an improvement in behaviour across the school which has been delivered through excellent teaching and strong routines. I have been genuinely impressed at how the students have returned with a positive attitude that shows that they want to succeed.”
ActonW3.com has also received positive comments from parents.
said, '' Speaking as a parent of a year 9 pupil, I am very happy with what I have seen at Ark Acton Academy. I went on a tour, and the school felt and looked like a good school. The children were well behaved, focused on their work or teacher and the atmosphere was calm and disciplined without a feeling of authoritianism or control which was important to me. The first day or so was very tough as the expectations on the children were very high in terms of respectful and responsible behaviour towards others and themselves but by the end of the first week, a lot of parents could see the difference these changes were making.
''The children are learning more during the lessons and poor behaviour is not tolerated. The consequences for both good and poor behaviour are clear and prompt so there are no grey areas which just shapes ongoing poor behaviour. The turnaround in behaviour management has been striking.
''The teachers who have stayed on during the transition have played a vital role as they know the children. They seem to all be on board with the new systems and as a result, the lessons, transitions and general school day are working well.
''There are still administrative issues as the school moves over to Ark but we are hoping that they will be ironed out this term.''
Milena Bazelkova said, '' I would like to say that both of my children (year 7 and year 10) are happy with the new systems in place and go off each morning with a smile as they enjoy the quiet and orderly line up. I visited the school one morning and was impressed to see a shift in culture with a quick line up and transition to classrooms, the quiet hallways and the calm lessons and easy and quick response to non-verbal ques. There seems to be an open-door policy, but despite this walking through the hallways was not noisy, but instead felt safe and welcoming. It was good to peer into the classrooms without disrupting the lessons and many of the teachers appeared calm and enthusiastic to have me visit and not thrown off by me poking my head through the door. In most classrooms. I know that many teachers have left, but also many have stayed and shown support to the new school and I am sure they have been instrumental in moving things forward with the new system. Overall, everyone seems to be on board with the changes and I, as a parent, am very pleased to see my children happy and enjoying themselves, while engaged and supported in their learning'
Helen Hamilton added, '' I'd say that last year was not an easy year for pupils at the school and their parents. It has therefore been extremely heartening to see such a positive change in such a short space of time - credit to the management team for this, to the teachers who are working hard to make the new ethos a reality, and to the pupils for responding to the new demands so quickly. As a result the quality of the school experience for all groups is improving. Teachers are anecdotally reporting a much calmer, more focussed atmosphere leading to greater levels of concentration in class. Having recently been on visits to other schools ready for my younger child's high school applications for year 7, I'd say that Ark Acton Academy certainly possesses a soul and spirit lacking in the other local schools I have visited. The children are encouraged to be inquisitive and questioning of subject matter in a constructive way. Now that discipline and school structures are being so effectively tackled, it certainly bodes well for the strong, local, inclusive school we all require.''
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October 10th 2018