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A groundbreaking Ofsted judgement for St James Academy

St James Academy received a ‘good’ rating in all areas in a recent Ofsted inspection. The outcome is a momentous occasion for the school as it was last rated ‘good’ nearly two decades ago. The report praises the school for being inclusive and a place where pupils feel that they can be themselves in a safe environment.

The report published following the inspection on 4th and 5th June 2024, further highlights leaders’ clear vision, the broad and balanced curriculum and the strength of the school’s careers programme. The report commends the school for embedding reading into all aspects of the curriculum observing that, “reading is prioritised for all pupils throughout the school” and that “pupils who require English language support receive this through a specialised programme”.

St James Academy is a founding secondary school within Dudley Academies Trust and since joining the Trust in 2017, there has been a continuous trajectory of improvement. The report recognises the “positive balance of support and challenge” the Trust has given and further observes that “leaders, including those responsible for governance, are very knowledgeable about the school”.

“I am extremely proud of the whole school community for achieving this fantastic outcome. This report reflects the hard work and dedication of our staff, pupils, parents, and governors, who have all contributed to the school’s improvement journey. We are grateful for the support and challenge from Dudley Academies Trust, which has enabled us to raise standards and expectations across the board. We will continue to work together to ensure that St James Academy provides the best possible education for our pupils, significantly improving their life chances.”

- Ian Moore, Principal at St James Academy


“We are thrilled to see St James Academy recognised as a ‘good’ school by Ofsted. St James Academy has embraced the Trust’s vision and values and has demonstrated a relentless commitment to providing high-quality education for its pupils. We are very proud of the achievements of the staff and pupils at St James Academy, and we look forward to supporting them on the next exciting phase of their journey.”

- Jo Higgins, Chief Executive Officer at Dudley Academies Trust


“This is a remarkable achievement for St James Academy and a clear indication of the positive impact that being part of Dudley Academies Trust can have on a school. I would like to congratulate Ian Moore and his staff, as well as the pupils and parents, for this well-deserved recognition.”

- Lowell Williams, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Dudley Academies Trust


The Ofsted inspection report states that:

  • St James Academy is an inclusive and welcoming school. Pupils are courteous and polite.
  • Prejudice is unacceptable to everyone. As a result, pupils feel they can be themselves in a safe environment.
  • The careers programme is a strength of the school and reflects the school’s ambition of ‘dreaming big’.
  • The school ensures that reading is prioritised for all pupils across the school.
  • Leaders, including those responsible for governance, are very knowledgeable about the school.
  • Staff feel proud to have contributed to the school’s development.
  • The trust provides a positive balance of support and challenge.


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