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Ipswich: “Inadequate” grading for Ipswich Academy’s first-ever Ofsted

PUBLISHED: 09:35 26 September 2013 | UPDATED: 15:06 26 September 2013

Nancy Robinson of Ipswich Academy

Nancy Robinson of Ipswich Academy

Archant

One of Ipswich’s biggest schools has been labelled inadequate in a damning Ofsted report.

Inspectors identified serious weaknesses in teaching standards and attainment at the 900-pupil Ipswich Academy.

But principal Nancy Robinson said the academy – formerly Holywells High School – had “turned the corner”.

The inspection was the first since the academy opened two years ago. The report was produced following a two-day visit by Ofsted inspectors in July.

Ms Robinson said an action plan to transform the Lindbergh Road academy was already in place.

Ms Robinson said: “The Ofsted inspectors came last term and this report was based on our 2012 results but this year’s have gone up quite significantly.”

The report labelled teaching at the academy as inadequate because students are not given challenging work and inspectors found students are not making the progress they should in English and maths, despite recent improvements.

But inspectors noted the academy’s strengths in rapid improvements in attendance, behaviour and persistent absence, the introduction of a one-to-one tutorial system and the academy having a clear understanding of where its weaknesses are.

“I’m delighted that they have recognised the progress we have made and I’m aware that we have still got a significant way to go but we now know we are doing the right things and we know we have the right people doing the right thing,” said Ms Robinson.

The academy has implemented an action plan as well as a Shooting Stars programme with talented students to extend their learning with extra opportunities and the chance for sixth form students to look around Oxbridge universities to give them higher aspiration levels.

The academy achieved a GCSE five A*-C pass rate, including maths and English, of 31% this year while the overall A*-C grades increased from 41% to 64%.

Ms Robinson added: “We have made improvements and report recognises those.

“With the staff team we have and the training in place, I am very confident that will get us to the next stage fairly quickly.

“We have turned the corner with our very pleasing A-level results and the significant improvement in GCSEs of 23% on last year.

“It really is a question of people watching this space as there’s a real momentum here.”

Is your child a student at Ipswich Academy? What do you make of the report’s findings? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starnews@archant.co.uk

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