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One of the newest additions to the RSA Family of Academies, Arrow Vale RSA Academy was judged to be “outstanding” in all categories following an inspection from Ofsted last month.

The inspectors were full of praise for the Principal, Guy Shears, and his team.  They also acknowledged the importance of the support provided by the RSA and by Whitley Academy, another member of the RSA Family of Academies and Arrow Vale’s school improvement partner school, in securing such a swift transformation at the school.  

The RSA Family of Academies is a mutually supportive partnership between schools and the RSA. Together, we aim to give learners the broad range of skills, qualifications, and experiences they need to thrive in their continuing education and the world of work.  

The report provides welcome recognition of the effectiveness of the RSA’s approach to school improvement, whereby support is provided by practicing teachers and head teachers from a partner school in the RSA Family – in this case from Whitley Academy – rather than by a central pool of advisers.  

Our model of school improvement is relatively unusual in the world of Academy chains. It requires no small commitment on the part of the partner school. Whitley’s Principal, Lorraine Allen, has dedicated enormous time and energy to providing support and practical advice to Guy and his team. Whitley have also seconded a senior member of staff to work as Vice Principal at Arrow Vale for the last two years, which has provided an excellent professional development opportunity for him as well as benefiting the school. But the partnership extends more deeply than this – staff at all levels, including business manager, heads of English, the SEN co-ordinators and so on have worked together, bringing benefits to staff in both schools.

For more information about the RSA’s model of school improvement support read more in a recent blog from the Chief Executive of RSA Academies, Alison Critchley. 


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