Harry Watts Academy Receive Outstanding Ofsted Inspection

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27th Sep 2023

Harry Watts Academy was inspected by Ofsted on 13th and 14th July 2023 and have achieved an Outstanding judgement. All the key areas of quality of education, behaviours & attitudes, personal development and leadership & management were similarly evaluated as Outstanding.

Harry Watts Academy is a specialist academy for pupils aged 5 to 16 years with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and complex learning difficulties. All pupils have a respective Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). The academy opened under Prosper Learning Trust in September 2020 and operates over two sites – the Redhouse Site in Sunderland, and the Harraton Site in Washington. There are currently over 170 pupils educated at Harry Watts Academy across three pathways.

The inspectors observed that Harry Watts Academy staff “have a limitless ambition for what pupils can achieve” and are “totally committed” to ensure pupils “receive the best education and the best opportunities as a right”. They emphasised the positive relationship between staff and pupils, which allows for pupil behaviour to be a “strength of the school”. Other aspects of the school’s work were highlighted in the report, including the school’s “exemplary approach to reading”, the “highly impressive” personal character and development, alongside a particular endorsement of the method of EHCPs translating into clear academic routes for each pupil.

Louise Hindmarch was the Deputy Headteacher at the time of the inspection and has since been appointed as Headteacher, following the retirement of former Headteacher Derek Cogle. She said “I am absolutely delighted with our Ofsted report achieved in the context of a very challenging inspection framework. This is testament to the incredible hard work and dedication that every single member of staff puts in every single day, to ensure our pupils receive the best possible education and care, which is what they deserve. I am particularly pleased that Ofsted commented on how Harry Watts Academy is a school of ‘immense warmth and care’ and is ‘a family school’, as I believe this really captures our ethos and values.”

Chris Richardson, Chief Executive Officer of Prosper Learning Trust, said “This Ofsted report is about the most unrelentingly positive I’ve ever read. As such it is a fitting tribute to the fantastic work that Louise and her team do every day on behalf of the young people who attend Harry Watts Academy and their families. As a Trust and a school we work closely with Sunderland to provide the best possible educational experience for young people with autism and the pupil’s own pride in their school was evident throughout the inspection. It also captures the legacy of the previous Headteacher, Derek Cogle who led the school from the day it opened.”

To see the full report, please see the file below or visit the Ofsted website.

Harry Watts Academy Ofsted Report 2023Ofsted Website - Harry Watts Academy

Photo: Louise Hindmarch, Harry Watts Academy Headteacher alongside Catherine Bhatti, Acting Deputy Headteacher, celebrate their result with Harry Watts Academy pupils.

Top row left to right: Louise Hindmarch, Katie, Oliver, Catherine Bhatti. Bottom row left to right: Tommy, Sophia, Jay.