Ryde Academy

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Coordinates: 50°43′21″N 1°10′30″W / 50.7225°N 1.1751°W / 50.7225; -1.1751

Ryde Academy
Ryde Academy Logo.jpg
Motto Shine Bright
Established 2011
Type Academy
Headteacher Joy Ballard
Location Pell Lane
Isle of Wight
PO33 3LN
DfE URN 136753 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Gender Male/Female
Ages 11–18
Website www.rydeacademy.org

Ryde Academy, is an academy status secondary school, including sixth form, located in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, England.


The Academy competes in Rock Challenge UK each year, and has achieved many awards. In 2013 they won the Southern Premier competition and in 2015 came second in the national finals.

The Academy has signed up with the LPPA to work towards a Leading Parent Partnership Award. The LPPA is beneficial for all schools - those that have extensive good practice in parent partnership, as well as those that require more in-depth support in this area. You can find out more about them by visiting their website. The website will include updates and minutes from the Working Group meetings.

As part of the Academy's international links students from the sixth form visited Valencia. Trips have also taken place to Koln, Berlin and Krakow. A link with a school in Bangladesh has existed since 2011.

Also, earlier this year, in April, a group of students learning Italian were given the opportunity to go to the island of Sicily as an exchange program with the company Islandipity.

Community Work[edit]

In June 2014 the Academy hosted a tea party for residents of a local residential care home at the sixth form centre.

A group of year 11 and year 12 students will take part in a programme of events for the National Citizen Service. This began in July with a week's residential at Marwell Zoo, followed by a second week at PGL Little Canada. The students will also be involved in volunteering for local projects based on the Island.

Criticism by Ofsted[edit]

In 2013, the official school standards and inspection service, Ofsted, judged the school to be "inadequate". The following year, it stated that the school "requires improvement".[1]

Control of the school was passed over to Hampshire County Council on the UK mainland, and the former Principal was dismissed. In 2015, a new Principal, Joy Ballard, was appointed. Speaking to BBC News, she said: "I'm fed up reading about what a bad deal the island's education system seems to be giving to its kids. There are a lot of young people on the island with very low aspirations for themselves in terms of wanting to do well in education. It's also very hard to recruit specialist teachers on to the Isle of Wight".[2]

GCSE results[edit]

In 2015, Ryde Academy pupils attained a 36% pass rate in at least five A-C grades at GCSE. In the same year, pupils at another local school, Carisbrooke College, attained 53%, while those at Priory School attained 54%, and Ryde School with Upper Chine attained 77%.[3]


As Ryde High School, the school was designated a Language College with Media and Performing Arts as their second specialism. It was given an award for being a high performing specialty college.[4] The Academy also has a variety of facilities, include an astroturf, field and theatre for 170 people.

The Academy took part in the annual Young Enterprise Company Programme Challenge, with the 2010 team winning the Isle of Wight local finals.[5] The school also participates in Rock Challenge UK, achieving several Awards of Excellence.

Former Ryde High School logo

As part of linking with foreign countries, including Norway and Bangladesh, in February 2011, Ryde High were the first school in the country to send students to Bangladesh on a trip. The students went as part of the Connecting Classrooms project and visited five schools around the country.[6]

As part of the reorganisation of the education system on the Isle of Wight, Academies Enterprise Trust was successful in their bid against Innovative Schools and East Wight Educational Trust to take over the school. Sandown Bay Academy was formed on the main school site and the site of former Sandham Middle School, now North School, in 2011, with the age range extended to Year 7 to Year 13. It is now one of 5 secondary providers on the Isle of Wight.

The 2012 pass rates for the school were 50.6% 5+ A*-C including English and Maths for GCSE and 100% pass rate with 70% A* to C for A Level.[7][8]

2014 Uniform controversy[edit]

In June 2014 the school made national headlines due to stringent punishments being administered for minor uniform infringements. The school's uniform policy contains a list of rules some three pages long.[9] On 9 June, the school's principal wrote to parents notifying them that there would be a focus on school uniforms on 17 June.

It was reported that at least 250 pupils were removed from their classes[9] for offences such as wearing a skirt 1 centimetre (0.39 in) above the bottom of the knee-cap[9] (the rules say skirts should be "worn to the knee"),[10] wearing non-leather shoes,[11] or socks with visible stitching on them[9] on 17 June. One parent estimated that 300 children were sent home,[12] and an estimated 200 pupils were made to stay in the school hall, facing the wall in silence for the whole day, with only two ten-minute breaks, receiving no lessons, and toilet visits being supervised by an escort.[9] A local newspaper reported that parents were trying to contact the school during the day but unable to do so.[13]

The school issued a press statement on the evening of 17 June, acknowledging its "high expectations" of its students but did not comment on the reports of the punishments that had been issued during the day.[13]

On 18 June, some parents of children who had spent the previous day receiving the "isolation" punishment in the hall took their children out of school altogether for the day. Some pupils who had not been punished on the 17 June "focus" day were punished if their uniform was deemed incorrect the next day. Police were present on the school grounds, and similar punishments were meted out, with pupils being made to sit at desks in silence in the school hall, facing the wall and keeping their arms parallel to the desk. The operators of the school, Academies Enterprise Trust issued a statement that discipline and uniform policy were the responsibility of individual schools, and that the Trust would support Ryde Academy "on the appropriate action it considers necessary".[14]

The "isolation" punishment was reported to be continuing on 19 June and the incident received coverage from BBC South Today, The Times, The Telegraph, The Sun and the Loose Women television show.[15] Several parents kept their children away from the school.[15]

On 20 June it was reported that two applications had been made by parents to the Isle of Wight Council to remove students altogether from the school, while the school continued to implement the isolation policy. One pupil was punished for having trouser "pockets in the wrong places" and shoes that were not stab-proof.[16]

Notable former pupils and staff[edit]


  1. ^ "OFSTED - Ryde Academy". OFSTED. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "Educating Cardiff head Joy Ballard takes over at Ryde Academy". 3 September 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  3. ^ "Isle of Wight GCSE results: Breakdown of results (update 6)". OnTheWight.com. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  4. ^ List of High Performing Specialist Schools DFES Standards Site
  5. ^ "Ryde High School". Retrieved 03/04/2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  6. ^ Ryde High School. "Bangladesh Trip". 
  7. ^ "GCSE results issued for the Isle of Wight". Isle of Wight Council. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  8. ^ "Isle of Wight A-level results released". Isle of Wight County Press. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Barbieri, Annalisa (26 June 2014). "Ryde Academy: skirts too short? Or headmaster too powerful?". The Week. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Uniform Policy". Ryde Academy. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Baxter, Holly (19 June 2014). "School uniform policies are bad for all students – but especially girls". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Glanfield, Emma (19 June 2014). "Headteacher defends taking more than 250 girls out of lessons in uniform crackdown because their skirts were too short". Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Pupils isolated following uniform crackdown". Island Echo. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Parents remove children from 'prison' school". Island Echo. 18 June 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Isolation continues for academy students". Island Echo. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "Parents protest against uniform crackdown". Island Echo. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 

External links[edit]