Inspectors have praised the progress being made by a flagship free school despite the challenging impact of Covid on primary education.

In July 2019 Paxton Academy was taken over by the Wandle Learning Trust but just weeks later in October 2019 Ofsted inspected Paxton and gave it an ‘inadequate’ rating.

Subsequently, the trust made significant changes to leadership and governance which have seen improvements to the curriculum and ‘high expectations’ for pupils’ learning.

The Academy moved to its new building on London Road and saw the appointment of a new headteacher Theresa Moses, who joined in September 2020.

This latest inspection which took place in January concluded that: “Leaders and those responsible for governance are taking effective action to provide education in the current circumstances. “

Leaders were managing significant staff absence due to COVID but noted the inspection team: ”Leaders have taken steps to ensure that staff absence is not affecting the curriculum provided.”

Headteacher Ms Moses said: “At a time where the world was filled with so much fear and uncertainty, Paxton’s most recent Ofsted Section 8 inspection, gave the staff, children and families of Paxton a reason to smile.

“As Headteacher, the past seven months have provided me with the opportunity to build positive relationships with the parents and create an inclusive enquiry-based curriculum with the staff for the children.

“Along the way, the journey may have be at times challenging, but we can already see the positive difference our hard work .”