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School celebrates turnaround

PUBLISHED: 00:42 01 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:49 02 March 2010

STAFF and pupils at an Ipswich high school were today celebrating a dramatic turnaround in their fortunes.

Westbourne High School, which was considered to have "serious weaknesses" just four years ago, has today been praised by Ofsted inspectors.

STAFF and pupils at an Ipswich high school were today celebrating a dramatic turnaround in their fortunes.

Westbourne High School, which was considered to have "serious weaknesses" just four years ago, has today been praised by Ofsted inspectors.

A report has identified it as a "good school which enables it's students to learn and achieve well".

Head teacher Christopher Edwards has spearheaded the transformation in his four years in the role.

He said: "I am absolutely delighted the report confirms the progress we have made.

"I always like to take a football analogy. We are back in the Premier League and now we want to get to the top of it. This school has got so much potential."

During his time in the school the number of youngsters receiving grades of A to C at GCSE level has nearly doubled to record levels.

Mr Edwards puts down the rapid progress made to a combination of efforts from both staff and pupils.

He said: "With record exam results in the last two years we were confident we were getting it right, but it's very satisfying to receive Ofsted's confirmation of what we are achieving. What pleases me most is how in so many areas we have been judged to be not just satisfactory but good."

Of the 29 judgements made by the inspectors, they graded 24 at good or better than the previous inspection.

The school's strengths were identified as being down to good teaching, strong and wise leadership by the head teacher and governing body, good practice in assessments and the setting of targets to help raise standards.

The achievements of students with special needs was also recognised, as was the schools "robust" self evaluation of individual students' progress.

It also found "good" attitudes and behaviour among pupils and found good community links.

Although the report shows excellent progress, Mr Edwards is determined there are further improvements to come.

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