Chantry’s Suffolk New Academy will get better say school bosses after “inadequate” Ofsted inspection

Suffolk New Academy

Suffolk New Academy - Credit: Lucy taylor

Officials at an under-fire academy in Ipswich have pledged that improvements will be made after the school was placed in special measures.

Suffolk New Academy has been deemed inadequate in all four key inspection areas by Ofsted in the school’s first report since opening in 2013.

Last night the New Academies Trust, which runs the school, said it was too soon for recent leadership changes to have made a difference to the inspection.

In November, Andrew Fell resigned from his post as principal after 10 years at the school, formerly known as Chantry High School. The academy, which has about 650 students, is now run by interim principal Shelagh Potter.

Dave Muller, chief executive of New Academies Trust and principal of Suffolk New College, which has been a school sponsor, said: “We are disappointed by the Ofsted judgements but they have confirmed what we had identified following the results last year.

“The interim principal has already put in place a robust action plan as agreed with the Regional Schools Commissioner and we have taken a number of actions to ensure that the pupils are receiving an improved educational experience.

“Having an Ofsted inspection at this time validates the actions already taken and keeps us focused on moving forward and not letting standards drop back.”

Last year only 24% of pupils achieved five or more A*-C grades including English and maths. In October the school was rocked when the Department for Education issued a report criticising school standards. The DfE said funding could be withdrawn if results did not improve.

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A spokeswoman for New Academies Trust said: “Suffolk New Academy was inspected in early December 2014 and has been judged as inadequate.

“This judgement was not entirely unexpected following the poor results for 2013/14 and although weaknesses are identified in the report, Ofsted have praised the actions taken following these results such as changes to the leadership team and focus on maths and English.

“It was too soon for these strengths to impact on the inspection but it has validated that the academy is on the journey to improve.”

A new building for teaching is set to open at the academy in September and a new permanent principal is to be announced this week.