School at base of Grenfell judged outstanding in all categories

Despite losing students in the disaster, Kensington Aldridge Academy wins plaudits from inspectors

Ed Dorrell

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The secondary school in the shadow of Grenfell Tower that had to be evacuated in the aftermath of the disaster has received an outstanding report from Ofsted.

Kensington Aldridge Academy in West London was damaged beyond use by the fire and staff and pupils have were evacuated to neighbouring schools and ultimately put up in temporary accommodation.

Four current students and one pupil who had left the school died alongside 66 others when flames ripped through the tower on June 14.

Despite being at the epicentre of the horrific events, the schools leaders, staff and pupils refused to let the disaster get in the way of teaching, learning and exam season.

Ofsted inspectors visited the school after the fire. They graded KAA outstanding in all categories, saying that “what the school has achieved is remarkable.”

“Leaders have created a culture of high expectations and a commitment to excellence from all staff," Ofsted reported. "The quality of leadership at all levels is exceptional.”

David Benson, Principal at KAA, said, “I’m delighted for students, parents and staff with this news, which comes at the end of a very tough year for the academy. It’s important for our community to know they have a school at their heart which, in Ofsted’s words, delivers not just outstanding but 'exceptional' outcomes.”

The inspectors said: "Leaders and staff have shown determination, resilience and commitment in steering the school through what happened after the Grenfell Tower fire."

They noted that parents had been "full of praise for how well and sensitively leaders have managed the school since the event".

The report added that the challenges of helping pupils and staff cope with the emotional repercussions of the fire had been "carefully managed".

In August, KAA hailed the resilience of its students after exceeding national expectations in AS-levels.

Some 62 per cent of all its AS-level entries achieved grades A-C and sixth-form students secured an average of one whole grade higher than national expectations, positioning it to be in the top 10 per cent of a key government measure on value, the school said.

Leaders anticipate the school will move back to its original building in September 2018.

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Ed Dorrell

Ed Dorrell

Ed Dorrell is deputy editor and head of content at the TES, former features and comment editor and former news editor. 

Find me on Twitter @Ed_Dorrell

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