Hurlingham Academy Upgraded to 'Outstanding'

Ofsted inspector praises school's vision and ambition

Hurlingham Academy
Picture: The Hurlingham Academy

May 7, 2024

A Fulham school where pupils are recorded as regularly contributing to their local food bank has been rated ‘Outstanding’ in its latest Ofsted report. The Hurlingham Academy, which had been rated ‘Good’ for more than six years, was upgraded by the watchdog following a visit in March.

Inspectors described the school in their latest report as reflecting “an admirable vision and ambition”, with outcomes at the end of Year 11 “significantly above national averages”.

Leon Wilson, Principal of The Hurlingham Academy, said the report “is as much testament to our students’ brilliant attitudes and achievements as to our wonderful staff, who go above and beyond to give students the best possible education”.

The school, which is in South Fulham, had retained a ‘Good’ status since its first full inspection in October 2017. The visit prior to the most recent rating, in December 2022, was technically an ‘ungraded assessment’. It found however that there was potential for the school to be rated ‘Outstanding’, with the following inspection to be graded.

In the new report, pupils are described as ‘proud’ to attend The Hurlingham Academy, where they are “happy, safe and ambitious for their futures”. The report adds the school delivers forms of education beyond academia, with visits to museums and exhibitions part of the curriculum.

“The school helps pupils to understand the importance of being active citizens and positive ambassadors in their wider community,” inspectors noted. “For example, many pupils regularly contribute to the local food bank as part of their ‘house’ activities.”

The report continues to praise the vision of the school, described as ‘admirable’, and the subject knowledge of the teachers. “Pupils develop a deep understanding of the ambitious subject content taught. For example, in English, pupils in Year 8 study the social and historical context of the literature they read, which includes ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Richard III’. Pupils’ work across the curriculum is of a high standard. Outcomes at the end of Year 11 are significantly above national averages.”

The Hurlingham Academy’s approach to pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is further highlighted, as is the pupils’ attitudes to learning. The report concludes by noting that “leaders, staff, parents and pupils are proud of being part of The Hurlingham Academy community”.

Commenting on the new grade, Principal Wilson said, “We are so pleased that Ofsted has judged The Hurlingham Academy to be ‘Outstanding’, an outcome which is strong confirmation of what we offer as a school and of the ambition we have for all our students.

“The inspectors’ report is as much testament to our students’ brilliant attitudes and achievements as to our wonderful staff, who go above and beyond to give students the best possible education. I would like to thank everyone across our school community who plays an important role in its ongoing success, and I look forward to seeing The Hurlingham Academy continue to go from strength to strength.”

The Hurlingham Academy is part of the United Learning group of schools, teaching pupils from 11 to 18. Ben Antell, Director of Secondary Academies at United Learning, said: “This is an impressive, deserved outcome and is confirmation of what many of us already know to be true; that The Hurlingham Academy is an exceptional school which delivers the highest standard of education to its young people.”

Ben Lynch - Local Democracy Reporter