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Petition calling for Felixstowe Academy trust to be removed gathers over 1,000 signatures

PUBLISHED: 17:33 21 February 2018

Felixstowe Academy. Picture: PETER A COOK/FELIXSTOWE ACADEMY

Felixstowe Academy. Picture: PETER A COOK/FELIXSTOWE ACADEMY

Peter A Cook/Felixstowe Academy

Over 1,000 people have signed an MP’s petition calling for the trust behind the under-fire Felixstowe Academy to be removed, but senior leaders still insist they will turn around the school.

The 1,221-pupil academy has been rated ‘inadequate’ and placed in special measures after an Ofsted inspection in November raised concerns over poor GCSE results. Inspectors said a “culture of bullying” is also not being tackled.

Just 48% of students passed English and maths in 2017, with a ‘well below average’ Progress 8 score of -0.62. Ofsted noted that since senior leaders returned, robust systems are now in place to bring about improvements.

But Felixstowe MP Therese Coffey has called for the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), the London-based multi-academy trust which runs the school, to be replaced.

In three Ofsted inspections in 2013, 2015, and 2017, the school, under AET leadership, failed to achieve an above-standard rating: ‘requires improvement’ twice and ‘inadequate’ - special measures, respectively. The school opened at its £19m state-of-the-art premises in Easter 2014.

Parents have been invited to a school meeting tonight (Wednesday) to discuss any concerns. AET bosses said they held a “constructive meeting” with Dr Coffey on Tuesday.

Dr Coffey wrote in her column for this newspaper last week: “I have been on the case with AET for some years and thought things were getting better. However, when I saw their provisional results and Progress 8 results in particular last summer, with the final results published in January, it showed me the academy was going backwards and AET was not giving the leadership and support to the teachers in order to provide the best for the children.

“The time for AET running Felixstowe Academy is over. We need new arrangements in place as quickly as possible, so the school can have a fresh start under new leadership.”

A total of 1,142 people have signed her petition calling for the trust to be removed.

An AET spokesman said: “We have a clear plan of action and support to improve Felixstowe Academy at pace. This includes establishing new links with a neighbouring Ofsted ‘good’ AET academy, intensive support from AET’s curriculum team, extended days for Year 11s in core subjects, and focused termly reviews of progress.”

See here to sign the petition.

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