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Ipswich’s Gusford Primary on Ofsted list of ‘under-performing’ schools after failing to earn ‘good’ rating in 12 years

PUBLISHED: 19:16 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 19:17 13 December 2017

Gusford Primary School, Ipswich. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Gusford Primary School, Ipswich. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Bosses at an Ipswich primary school ranked by Ofsted in a list of consistently under-performing institutions are confident that improvements are being made.

Breakdown of primary inspection outcomes. Data from Ofsted official statistics. Graphic: JOANNE WARD Breakdown of primary inspection outcomes. Data from Ofsted official statistics. Graphic: JOANNE WARD

The official watchdog ranked Gusford Community Primary School in Sheldrake Drive among more than 100 schools in England and Wales that have failed to achieve a ‘good’ rating for more than a decade.

According to the findings of their annual report, improvements are being made to both secondary and primary education in Suffolk.

The study found the percentage of secondary schools judged as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ increased from 66% last year to 74% this year, while almost nine in ten primary schools managed to make the grade.

But Suffolk was at the bottom of a regional table for secondary education.

Breakdown of secondary inspection outcomes. Data from Ofsted official statistics. Graphic: JOANNE WARD Breakdown of secondary inspection outcomes. Data from Ofsted official statistics. Graphic: JOANNE WARD

Run by the Active Learning Trust, Gusford Primary was ranked as ‘requires improvement’ after in inspection carried out earlier this year.

Since then, they have appointed permanent headteacher Claire Claydon, former leader at the ‘good’ rated Brightlingsea Primary School.

An Active Learning Trust spokesman said: “The trust appointed (Ms Claydon) as Gusford’s headteacher earlier this year and is confident that the school is now improving.

Following Gusford’s latest inspection, the school was rated as ‘good’ in two categories and a number of improvements were highlighted, with inspectors stating that ‘the senior leadership team, governors and trustees are doing the right things to build on these recent improvements’ and are ‘tackling the remaining weaknesses with determination’.”

Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council

Although education bosses believe Suffolk’s schools are heading in the right direction, council chiefs have said there is more work to be done.

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education Gordon Jones said that altogether, across primary and secondary schools, 87% are rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted.

“Suffolk schools have made rapid progress since the Raising the Bar programme was launched,” he said.

“Suffolk is progressing faster than the national average and has narrowed the gap from 6% to less than 3%.”

But he added: “There is more to be done and we will continue support schools to drive up standards.”

Suffolk NUT secretary Graham White warned failing schools – particularly academies – must get the support they need if education bosses want the situation to improve.

He said: “Most academies failing to improve in Suffolk are in deprived areas.

“There is not enough focus on deprivation and how it can affect a school, particularly the children who go there.

“If you want schools to improve in Suffolk and nationally, you have to have better funding, recruit more headteachers, teachers and teaching assistants.

“In our view the focus of education also needs to change from purely academic to concentrating on pupils.”

But the head of Ofsted warned yesterday that disadvantaged pupils should not be used as an excuse.

Amanda Spielman said: “There is no doubt that the leadership challenge facing some schools is great.

“But progress is possible and we should all be wary of using the make-up of a school community as an excuse for under-performance.”

The region’s mental health trust has pledged to eradicate the use of out of area beds by 2021.

An Ipswich resident whose 
street was targeted by car vandals says she has found it hard to sleep through fear they will return.

The jury in the trial of four men accused of murdering father-of-five Dean Stansby has been hearing how evidence was collected during the investigation.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, and Chief Constable Gareth Wilson are staging a series of public meetings across the county through the coming months – and are encouraging Suffolk residents to attend.

Violent crime rose almost a third in Suffolk last year, according to latest figures.

An Ipswich man was banned from driving when he ploughed a BMW into a tree leaving his wife with possible life-long injuries.

Kare Plus had their new branch on Queen’s Street opened by Ipswich mayor Sarah Barber on Wednesday afternoon.

The incident took place on Wellington Street, near Norwich Road, this afternoon.

Average speed cameras are now operating on both lanes of the A14 Orwell after a camera was finally replaced – four months after it was damaged in an accident.

Just short of 100 Ipswich locals are set to come together this weekend to “finish” the London Marathon in memory of 29-year-old Matt Campbell, who collapsed on Sunday with 3.7 miles left to run.

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