Academy is first to sweep board in all Ofsted categories

6th November 2009 at 00:00

An academy in south London has become the first school in the country to be described as outstanding across the board under the new Ofsted regime.

Harris City Academy Crystal Palace, which has above-average numbers of children receiving free school meals, received top grades in all categories.

The school, which serves an ethnically diverse area and has high numbers of pupils with English as a second language, already attracts 10 applicants for each place.

It became an academy in 2007, having formerly been a highly successful city technology college, backed by Lord Harris of Peckham, the former chairman of Carpetright. The Harris federation now runs nine academies across south London.

"The academy lives by its motto, 'all can achieve'; it therefore takes every measure possible to ensure that no child is left behind, irrespective of their ability, race, ethnicity or gender," inspectors said.

"There is no slack in the robust systems on behaviour, dress code and strong work ethic which underpin the day-to-day running of the academy."

Students are said to like the "corporate identity" of the school that comes with being part of the Harris group.

The school was also described as outstanding overall by Ofsted when it was last inspected in 2007.

The Ofsted inspection regime changed this September to put more focus on schools that are struggling to perform well.

Under the new framework, good and outstanding schools are only inspected once every five years, while there are more frequent visits for schools judged satisfactory or inadequate.

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