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Primary school making ‘rapid’ progress, but Ofsted calls for more improvements

PUBLISHED: 11:53 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:54 26 March 2020

Cliff Lane Primary School in Ipswich. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Cliff Lane Primary School in Ipswich. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

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Leaders of an Ipswich primary school say it is making “rapid” progress after an Ofsted report highlighted areas it needs to improve.

Cliff Lane, which has more than 400 pupils, was last inspected in 2017 as part of the Bright Tribe Academy Trust.

It is now run by ASSET Education under interim headteacher Rebecca Leek, who is director of strategy from the trust.

The school’s latest inspection, at the end of January, found the quality of education and early years provision to ‘require improvement’ – while behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management were considered ‘good’.

The report said: “Until this year, pupils have not done well enough. Results in reading, writing and mathematics were too low in 2019 – much of the school’s work has been weak.

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“In the early years, children have not got off to a good start. Older pupils have not learned well and have left year six without the skills needed for secondary school.”

New leaders were recognised for putting in place proposals to improve the school – with inspectors adding Mrs Leek needs more time to show the proper results of her work with staff.

The report noted changes in attitude, adding: “Teachers are now expected to think more carefully about what they want pupils to learn.

“New approaches to checking pupils’ understanding are leading to better progress in lessons.”

Improvement was considered to be required in the teaching of reading, science, geography, history and physical education (PE) but progress had been made in maths.

Clare Flintoff, chief executive officer of ASSET, said: “Cliff Lane Primary School transferred over to us from the closing Bright Tribe Academy Trust in March last year. Joining ASSET Education enabled the school to reconnect with the Ipswich educational community and for its staff to be able to take part in new training opportunities alongside teachers from our 13 other schools that have clearly been of benefit. It is a school that has rapidly improved over the last year and is expecting results in summer 2020 that will put it firmly in the ‘good’ category at its next inspection.”

Rebecca Leek, interim headteacher since the end of October, said: “The Ofsted report only offers a glimpse into the enormous amount of work a committed and passionate group of professionals is putting in to raise standards at Cliff Lane. It is a very special school and I have absolute confidence that the school is going from strength to strength.”

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