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School no longer 'failing'

PUBLISHED: 22:40 19 May 2004 | UPDATED: 04:54 02 March 2010

A SCHOOL that has been dogged with troubles and has spent the last three years in special measures today announced the start of a new era.

Holywells High School, in Ipswich, was branded a failing school following a damning OFSTED report in February 2001.

A SCHOOL that has been dogged with troubles and has spent the last three years in special measures today announced the start of a new era.

Holywells High School, in Ipswich, was branded a failing school following a damning OFSTED report in February 2001.

Today headteacher Karen Grimes has announced the school has raised standards and has been deemed good enough to come out of the special measures.

"This is excellent news for everyone at the school and something we have been working very hard to achieve," she said.

The school has been working closely with OFSTED and advisors from Suffolk County Council in a bid to shake off its reputation.

School governors, local area councillor Bryony Rudkin and children and schools portfolio holder for the county council Dave Rowley were all invited to a conference this morning where the announcement that the school was coming out of special measures was made.

Former headteacher Barry Whelpton resigned following the 2001 report, which said the school was not providing a decent standard of education.

Being in special measures means the school is visited every term to make sure it is working to improve standards of teaching.

Threatened industrial action from teachers also left the school in crisis in 2001, with timetables cut and pupils being sent home early.

Some pupils were forced to go home as early at 11.15am at the height of a staffing crisis – a move which attracted national media attention and brought film crews to the school.

Teacher morale at the school was said be extremely low and the teachers voted they would not cover any lessons for absent colleagues.

Are your children pupils at Holywells School? Have you seen a positive change in standards? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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