Hillside Primary School in Ipswich fails to improve on requires improvement Ofsted rating

Hillside Primary School has been rated requires improvement by Ofsted (stock image). Picture: GETTY

Hillside Primary School has been rated requires improvement by Ofsted (stock image). Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A primary school in Ipswich has failed to improve its Ofsted rating despite converting to an academy, it has been revealed.

Hillside Primary School in Belstead Avenue, Ipswich, was inspected in June for the first time since it became an academy, with the report published this month revealing it had maintained its requires improvement rating.

The school, previously known as Hillside Community Primary School, was last inspected in June 2014, where it improved from being inadequate to requires improvement before being taken over by the Active Learning Trust.

The latest report rated the school requires improvement in all areas, except for the early years provision which was judged to be good.

The report said: “Leaders at all levels have taken action to bring about improvements, but the impact of their work is not yet evident. The curriculum is not consistently broad and balanced across the school.


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“Pupils have not developed sufficient skills in some subjects such as science and religious education.”

Other areas identified for further improvement were the variations in quality of teaching, able pupils not being challenged enough and disruption taking place where the teaching is not deemed to be good.

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But the report did recognise improvements had been made in pupil safeguarding, positive attitude of parents and children and high regard for development and welfare

“Leadership at all levels has been recently strengthened and leaders are now addressing the inconsistencies in the quality of teaching,” the report added.

But the latest outcome has raised questions over whether converting to an academy – one of the reasons the Government originally introduced academy schools – had actually helped the establishment make progress to improve.

Gary Peile – CEO of the Active Learning Trust said: “Despite Hillside receiving a requires improvement judgement, the Ofsted team recognised that much has been done to ensure the school moves to good next time it is inspected. In particular the team highlighted the strengths in leadership in order to continue to make progress.

“The school and the trust do recognise that there remains much to do, but are pleased that the inspection team were able to agree that there is much to build upon.”

Headteacher Lee Aboott added: “I would like to echo these comments and add that I am very pleased that the Ofsted team found particular strengths in our early years and the welfare of pupils in an inclusive, diverse community.”

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