Education secretary Nicky Morgan calls on struggling Ipswich schools to improve

Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education (right) and the Conservatives parliamentary candidate

Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education (right) and the Conservatives parliamentary candidate for Ipswich, Ben Gummer, visit The Treehouse Children's Centre in Clapgate Lane and speak with nursery manager Jenny Cotton

Struggling Ipswich schools have been warned they “do not have a day to lose” to dramatically raise standards.

Those are the words of Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan who visited the town yesterday.

She was asked about Ormiston Endeavour Academy, the former Thurleston High School, which was placed into special measures by Ofsted inspectors.

The rating comes after two other town academies, Suffolk New Academy and Ipswich Academy, were also placed into special measures in the last four months.

Academies are schools which have more of a say in how they are run and are free from county council control.

Mrs Morgan visited The Tree House Children’s Centre off Clapgate Lane with Conservative candidate for the town, Ben Gummer. He said he was “very proud” the party was offering 30 hours of free childcare to working parents.

Mrs Morgan said: “Children who are in special measure schools or requires improvement schools – we do not have a day to lose as far as their education is concerned. Have they got the plan to improve?

“I think sometimes what happens is that there can be an inspection quite soon after somebody takes over and I think we know we have excellent teachers and excellent schools across the country and I want to give those who are working in challenging circumstances absolutely the time to prove they have a plan to work with governors.”

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When told that Ipswich Academy’s current executive principal, Pamela Hutchison, who started in September, will move on at the end of this year, Mrs Morgan said if schools “do not have the capacity to improve” then parents would expect “action” to be taken.

Ipswich Academy’s sponsor, The Learning Schools Trust, has admitted that they have “not done enough” to help the school improve. The school will have a new sponsor this September, Paradigm Trust.