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

09:35 26 September 2013

Nancy Robinson of Ipswich Academy

Nancy Robinson of Ipswich Academy


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



  • This lady just about managed to keep her last school out of 'Special Measures', the school having millions spent on it by the local authority. Education in Thetford is still a mess because of this. It looks like her luck has finally run out

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    Jacob Burns

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

  • Oh PC Plod you really haven't a clue. I suspect you have never left your gated community to visit Nacton. I can assure you I went to Nacton Heath Hollywells and I've done ok. Been a qualified accountant for 14 years and living a decent life. This isn't about feeling sorry for people from a particular area, it's about giving every kid an equal chance. These kids deserve (and I'm sure will get) a great education. I really hope that you aren't a serving officer because your views of a whole area estate may just cloud your judgement. I support anyone who is trying to improve the opportunities this school gives the kids. I fully support you Ipswich Academy will always be Nacton Heath to me.

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    Thursday, September 26, 2013

  • I have a child at the Academy and also have 2 others who will go there in a couple of years time. I feel that they don't push the children enough and let many run roit disrupting those that do want to learn. I do want my children to be the first in the family to attend university but it's going to be difficult if they don't get the support and ecouragement at school. I hope that the move to the new building will give the school the lift in standards and teaching it so needs.

    Report this comment

    Scooter boy

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

  • How patronising your are PC Plod! You don't have to go to university to make something of your life. I was a pupil at Nacton Heath High School, as were my 3 brothers, my nieces and nephews and many friends. We have all gone on to have successful careers, in a variety of different fields and for your information not one of us have ever been, as you put it, "one of your regular customers". It's comments like yours, that tar everyone with the same brush - there are good and bad in every walk of life (even in the police force) not just from the Nacton and Gainsborough estates. As one of your fellow colleagues said to me once, the majority of people are honest and law abiding, just a small minority are not. Perhaps you would do well to remember the old saying - if you expect a child to behave badly, it very often will and by the way, my children also attend Ipswich Academy.

    Report this comment

    anne robinson

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

  • PC Plod. I do not come from, nor did I go to school in these estates. However, I have lived here for 25 years and have found the locals to be extremely friendly and endearing! Yes, there are some that you so pompously describe as `regular customers.` I think you will find that even University graduates have their fair share of undesirables, but their form of criminality possibly falls in a different category. Ipswich Academy and other so called troubled schools are, i`m sure, always trying to improve and I don`t see how Ofsted turning up for 2 days will make them any better. I have 2 young daughters that will attend The Academy in the future and I have no problem with that, in fact PC Plod, I welcome it.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Walker

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

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

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