Inspectors from Education Scotland visited the school in January this year, grading it as ‘good’ for leadership of change and ‘satisfactory’ for learning, teaching and assessment, raising attainment and achievement and ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion.
A report published this week praises the leadership of head teacher Jim Brown and says he has a “relentless drive and enthusiasm to ensure that all young people have a positive experience at Annan Academy.”
It commends the increasing range of out of class and after school activities that are available to young people, and says many of these are supported by effective partnership working in the local community.
The report states that teachers are increasingly reflecting on their practice and working to improve outcomes, and praises the different ways in which staff ask for the views of young people and act on them to improve learning experiences.
It was also noted that exclusions from school have reduced considerably in recent years and are now below the national average, and that there has been a move away from punitive measures towards a more caring and supportive culture.
Other strengths included a strong transition programme between the Academy and local primary schools, and an improved range of awards and courses on offer.
However, inspectors noted that the standard of learning and teaching is not consistent across all curricular areas.
They observed that most young people were compliant and well-behaved but lacked interest and enthusiasm for learning, and said some young people would benefit from more varied and differentiated work.
The report describes the quality of teaching as “variable” with “scope for improvement” and calls on staff to ensure that young people are challenged appropriately in their learning and are working at a suitable pace.
Although the school’s additional support for learning department was praised, the report says the model for supporting young people with additional needs needs to be updated to reflect best practice and should be more integrated across the school.
Inspectors recommended that approaches to promoting wellbeing, inclusion and equality should be improved, and that staff should be supported to recognise and better meet the needs of all learners.
A letter published alongside the report states that inspectors will not visit the school again in connection with the recent inspection, and are confident that the school has the capacity to continue to improve.