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One in three teachers will leave Piper’s Vale Primary Academy in Ipswich before Christmas

PUBLISHED: 21:03 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:31 16 November 2017

Piper's Vale Primary Academy in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

Piper's Vale Primary Academy in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

A third of teachers are leaving an under-performing Ipswich primary school before Christmas amid a strong stance over standards by academy chiefs.

The equivalent of around eight full-time teaching staff at Piper’s Vale Primary Academy will leave at the end of term.

The London-based Paradigm Trust, which took over the school in September following a ‘requires improvement’ Ofsted rating, said teaching staff resignations were “inevitable” amid “very close scrutiny” of the 381-pupil school.

In 2016, just 29% of pupils left with the expected standards in reading, writing, and maths – one of the worst outcomes in Suffolk.

The trust is now advertising for ‘class teachers’ at Piper’s Vale and Murrayfield Primary School, which it also runs. Both primaries are feeder schools for Ipswich Academy, where English and maths teacher vacancies have also been posted by the trust.

Ben Carter, executive principal at Piper’s Vale Primary Academy, said: “Paradigm Trust was asked to take over Piper’s Vale because of its strong track record in improving failing schools.

“In any turnaround situation, there is a very close scrutiny of the teaching staff and this will lead to resignations – it is an inevitable part of the process.

“Paradigm Trust’s aim is to give children the educational opportunities they deserve, and we are already seeing good progress at Piper’s Vale with the most recent teaching and learning review reporting reasonable improvements.

“We are confident we will be able to recruit effective teachers, and being part of a larger multi academy trust means that we have resources from across the wider organisation available to us.”

In the last Ofsted report, in November 2016, inspectors said work was sometimes too hard for low-ability pupils and too easy for high-flyers. Teaching assistants also sometimes gave too much help instead of challenging pupils.

All vacancies are open to experienced unqualified teachers, which the trust defended by insisting they are “exceptional teachers” who would receive support to achieve qualifications.

Graham White, of the Suffolk NUT, said recruiting unqualified staff at any under-pressure school is a short-term solution.

He said: “We have no problem with encouraging people from a wide and rich background to take up teaching but they need a full training programme.”

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