‘Wonderful’ - Ofsted inspectors heap praise on nursery & primary school in Winson Green, Birmingham

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A nursery and primary school in Winson Green, Birmingham, has been named one of the best in Britain

A school right in the heart of Birmingham’s infamous ‘Benefits Street’ is celebrating incredible success having been labelled ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Oasis Academy Foundry sits on the corner of James Turner Street which, in 2014, made UK headlines for all of the wrong reasons as Channel 4 documented what life was like in one of Birmingham’s poorest streets, with the vast majority of the residents – as many as 95 per cent – claiming benefits.

Fast-forward to 2023 and, at Oasis Academy, the situation could not be more different. The 218-pupil primary school is on the corner of James Turner Street and Foundry Road, with the latter backing onto the notorious HMP Birmingham in Winson Green.

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However, this deprived area of Birmingham now boasts one of the best and most-pleasant schools in the country. Ofsted inspectors have gone on to identify Oasis Academy as “wonderful”, while the school itself has gone from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’ within the last 10 years.

‘This wonderful school’

In a report published last week (Tuesday, September 26), lead inspector Nicola Beech beamed: “Staff and children are justifiably proud of this wonderful school. They belong to a caring community where diversity is valued. Everyone demonstrates the ‘9 habits’ values, including patience and compassion. This is visible in the positive relationships between pupils.

“From Nursery upwards, pupils know the importance of excellent behaviour. They always meet these high expectations, helped by the shared language used by all staff. They enjoy spending time together and help each other to be successful. Older pupils take on responsibilities. For example, they can act as reading mentors or pupil mediators, helping younger pupils with their learning and at social times.”

She added: “Parents and carers know that leaders genuinely care for them and their children. They value the excellent support they receive.”

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Oasis Academy Foundry in Winson Green is now one of the best-rated school in the UKOasis Academy Foundry in Winson Green is now one of the best-rated school in the UK
Oasis Academy Foundry in Winson Green is now one of the best-rated school in the UK | LDRS

Oasis Academy Foundry responds to ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted report

The three-day visit was carried out earlier this summer and, responding to the high praise, deputy headteacher Camron Mills said: “Oasis Academy Foundry has undergone a remarkable transformation in the last decade. Ten years ago, we faced the daunting challenge of being graded as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted. However, thanks to the unwavering dedication of our staff, the resilience of our students, and the support of our community, we have made a remarkable turnaround.

“In just a few years, the current leadership team has transformed the school and achieved the coveted Ofsted ‘outstanding’ grade. This is a testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved in our school.

We have not only overcome the challenges associated with our location on James Turner Street, which was featured on Channel 4’s ‘Benefit Street’ series as one of the most deprived streets in England, but we have also turned those challenges into opportunities for growth and improvement. Our transformation is a story of hope, resilience, and community strength. We believe that our journey can inspire others.”

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