Chantry Academy and Ormiston Endeavour Academy making progress, says Ofsted

Christine Woods, headteacher at Ormiston Endeavour Academy in Ipswich.

Christine Woods, headteacher at Ormiston Endeavour Academy in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Two struggling secondary schools in Ipswich which have been placed in special measures are beginning to make improvements, Ofsted has said.

Inspectors visited Chantry Academy and Ormiston Endeavour Academy in February to check up on the ailing academies’ progress, and deemed both to be taking “effective action towards the removal of special measures”.

The news follows the watchdog’s report last month that Ipswich Academy, which was also placed in special measures, had been making effective progress as well.

At Ormiston Endeavour – previously known as Thurleston High School – inspectors praised a new senior leadership team, headed by principal Christine Woods who took over last year, in rescuing poor student behaviour and increasing staff morale.

The academy in Defoe Road, attended by around 460 pupils, was placed in special measures in January last year. A month earlier, Samantha Penn resigned as headteacher and was replaced by Ms Woods.

The school suffered a further setback in the summer when only 39% of pupils achieved five or more A*-C GCSE grades.

Ofsted at the time denounced the lack of help given to disadvantaged students, the number of pupils making progress, and stated there was “not enough good teaching.”

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But following an inspection in February, the education watchdog said new assessment systems and staffing were working and the quality of teaching had improved.

Ms Woods said: “Everyone has worked tirelessly, with invaluable support from the team at Ormiston Academies Trust, to ensure we are taking the necessary steps to improve the quality of education we provide.

“I am enormously proud of the students for the great attitude they have shown towards the changes we have implemented, and our staff for their commitment to raising standards at the school.

“We are well on our way to achieving our goal of being a ‘good’ school by October.”

Chantry Academy, which was known under previous guises as Chantry High School and Suffolk New Academy, had also been rated inadequate in January last year.

The damning report said: “The curriculum does not equip students with the basic skills of literacy, numeracy and communication,” and that “students’ behaviour is inadequate.”

In February last year Craig D’Cunha was appointed as the school’s new principal which, coupled with the opening of a lavish new £14.3m building last September, has helped the academy on the path to the removal of special measures.

Last month’s report recognised that the school has “continued to enhance its support for disadvantaged pupils,” and that “classrooms are increasingly calm and orderly environments and, as a result, teachers are raising their expectation of the amount of work that can be completed within lessons”.

Mr D’Cunha welcomed the report, adding: “I am encouraged that the inspection team have recognised the continued progress the school has made; particularly the impact on standards, behaviour and the quality of teaching.

“This is a testament to the commitment of our teachers and support staff and how they work in partnership with the students to ensure that they are successful.”

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