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School at foot of Grenfell Tower rated Outstanding by Ofsted

Four current students and one pupil who had left Kensington Aldridge Academy died alongside 66 others in the tower block fire.


Grenfell Tower in west London (Rick Findler/PA)

Grenfell Tower in west London (Rick Findler/PA)

Grenfell Tower in west London (Rick Findler/PA)

A school which lost several pupils in the Grenfell Tower fire has said it is “delighted” after having been rated Outstanding by Ofsted.

Kensington Aldridge Academy (KAA), which sits at the foot of the 24-storey block in west London, was forced to close and relocate when it was caught at the centre of the devastation last summer.

Four current students and one pupil who had left the school died alongside 66 others when flames ripped through the tower on June 14.

Principal David Benson said: “I’m delighted for students, parents and staff with this news, which comes at the end of a very tough year for the academy.

“It’s important for our community to know they have a school at their heart which, in Ofsted’s words, delivers not just outstanding but ‘exceptional’ outcomes.”

The Ofsted report, based on a December inspection, called pupils “confident, resilient and hard working”, and “prepared very well for life in modern Britain”, as well as praising the high calibre of teaching.

It said: “Leaders and staff have shown determination, resilience and commitment in steering the school through what happened after the Grenfell Tower fire.

“Parents and carers … have been full of praise for how well and sensitively leaders have managed the school since the event.”

The report added that the challenges of helping pupils and staff cope with the emotional repercussions of the fire had been “carefully managed”.

Sir Rod Aldridge, Trustee of Aldridge Education, said he was “immensely proud” of the academy, which opened in 2014.

He added: “I have seen at first-hand how the school has grown, supported its students and community through the relocation to our temporary site, and maintained a focus on delivering the highest standards of education to our students.”

In August, KAA hailed the resilience of its students after exceeding national expectations in AS-levels.

Some 62% of all its AS-level entries achieved grades A-C and sixth-form students secured an average of one whole grade higher than national expectations, positioning it to be in the top 10% of a key government measure on value, the school said.

Leaders anticipate the school will move back to its original building in September 2018.