Holbrook Academy jumps to 44th in a list of the top 50 state schools in the country a year after coming out of special measures

Holbrook Academy's Brendan Bagshaw, Nat Reid, Luke Handley, Nicola Shelley, Helena Kirby, Abi Tearle

Holbrook Academy's Brendan Bagshaw, Nat Reid, Luke Handley, Nicola Shelley, Helena Kirby, Abi Tearle and Alfie Vaughan celebrate the school being listed in the top 50 state schools for A*/A grades having only come out of special measures two years ago - Credit: Su Anderson

A Suffolk school is celebrating after establishing itself in a top 50 league table.

Holbrook Academy only came out of special measures a year ago but has now been recognised for the progress it has been making.

The school, in Ipswich Road, Holbrook, has been ranked 44th in the top 50 state secondary schools with no or new sixth form.

Its position is based on the percentage of pupils achieving A* and A grades in their GCSEs.

Last year it squeezed into the table at 50th place but principal Simon Letman said the six place rise was evidence of the improvements seen at the school.

“Two years ago we were really in the doldrums,” Dr Letman said. “A year ago we came out of special measures and we have been working really hard to achieve our targets and moving forwards at a time when relatively few schools seem to be making rapid progress.”

He said one of the reasons for the improvement was the school’s freedom to set its own curriculum as an academy and praised deputy headteacher Nicola Shelley for her work developing it.

“This year we have created a completely new curriculum timetable with three more hours of learning time,” Dr Letman said.

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“We are free to be more creative and inventive with our curriculum and we can make that rapid progress. We are improving across the whole board.”

Dr Letman added the next step for the school would be to achieve an outstanding rating from Ofsted.

“With all these things the sky’s the limit but our next important event is 12 months form now when we will be inspected again by Ofsted.

“The next big step is the journey to outstanding. Everything we are doing is designed to get us to outstanding. We are closing the gap between the state and the independent.”