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Ipswich: Academy received warning letter over poor performance

PUBLISHED: 10:57 20 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:57 20 February 2013

The current site Ipswich Academy Lindbergh Road, Ipswich

ES 20.4.12

The current site Ipswich Academy Lindbergh Road, Ipswich ES 20.4.12

A TOWN academy has been named as one of the seven worst performing in the country.

The Department for Education (DoE) has revealed that Ipswich Academy is one of seven academies who were sent a pre-warning letter due to their poor performance.

But Nancy Robinson, principal of the Lindbergh Road academy, said that “pleasing progress” has already been made since the letter arrived in November.

The DfE said there had been discussions with academy sponsors and that if the seven schools failed to make substantial improvements it could “ultimately lead to a change in sponsor”.

The decision to send a pre-warning letter to the struggling academies came after their performance was shown to “remain stubbornly low”.

A spokesman for the department said the schools had “largely responded extremely well to the challenge”.

Today, academy principal Nancy Robinson told The Ipswich Star that the school was making progress and would continue to

improve the standards and the aspirations of students.

Ms Robinson, 56, said: “It is important to note that this is a pre-warning letter; the DFE have been working closely with us and are happy with the progress they have seen, following monitoring visits. We were particularly praised for improved behaviour and attendance.

“We are working very hard to rectify standards, even though we accept our Summer results were disappointing.

“Existing data for students across the school are showing pleasing progress and we have pledged to improve standards and students’ aspirations after many years of low results and expectations.

“It is also very important to note that none of our examination students has yet been using the sponsors’ learning programme (through to full examination). The first students who have any involvement in the new approach reach examination this year.

“We are committed to developing a life-long learning culture in the school and see absolutely no reason why our students can’t achieve as much as other students – we are beginning to see the results of increased aspirations already.”

The DfE said: “We will not tolerate long-term under-performance in any school – including in an academy.

“As with maintained schools, if these academies do not make the progress we expect, we will take further action.

“This may result in a change to the sponsorship.”

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