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

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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.”

7 comments

  • The saying 'you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear' springs to mind ......

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    Ken Kernow

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • Spot on 'Opinion Man'. You've hit the nail right on the head.

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    RC

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • It's 'Holywells High Scool'! Changing the name is not going to suddenly make the pupils brighter of the teachers better.

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    RC

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • Spot on "Opinion Man", RC and Ken Kernow - very deprived area, low income families with very little prospects of employment or a better quality of life - councils should invest in housing and building better communities and social inclusion rather than "tendering out" it's educational responsibilities to profit-making organisations. The kids that live in that area and go to that school have very little chance unfortunately...

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    Chris Ward

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • I couldn't agree with you more NT, surely a constant bashing of our children and schools aren't doing anybody any good. Maybe a bit of praise for the good the school is doing wouldn't go amiss. Sure it is going to take time to wash away it's bad name and it will do so. I have two children attending the school and they are doing brilliantly (before, during and after the change of name). All the teachers, staff and pupils have worked extremely hard to make a success of the school. The remarks about coming from a council estate meaning you have no chance in life is a very old fashioned and antiquated one. I am fortunate to own my house as many people do and would love to. The school is now in the process of moving premises, so onwards and upwards, we should keep postive and encourage our children in everything they do.....

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    DH

    Monday, February 25, 2013

  • This article, and the subsequent comments, are not helpful to the school whose staff are no doubt working tirelessly to improve results, or to the families who send their children there. I have a number of friends who have sent their children to the school or whose children are currently attending. Those children who have left the school have obtained good exam results and have either gone on to college or have got jobs which they enjoy with good prospects. Those whose children are still attending the school are happy there and are making good progress. It is totally unfair to say that these 'low income families' have 'very little prospects of employment or a better quality of life'. I was brought up in a council house and have a degree, a job that I enjoy, a privately owned property and have never claimed benefits. If I lived in the Ipswich Academy catchment area I would have no hesitation in sending my children there.

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    NT

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • It dose not matter if it is a school or and academy. The fact it is stutated in the middle of a massive council estate shows the students come from low income familes and those on benefits which sadly equals familes at the bottom of the financial and education spectrum.

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    the opinion man

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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