School ordered to tackle bullying after inspection

IPSWICH: A school is today under orders to stamp out bullying immediately – after children were found to be fearing for their safety.

Ofsted inspectors condemned Thurleston High School as “inadequate” – the lowest rating – after a worrying visit in April.

Head inspector Ian Seath said: “Examples of disruptive behaviour were seen by inspectors, both in class and around the school.

“Inappropriate behaviour in corridors sometimes goes unchecked and some students are concerned this makes them feel unsafe.

“A few parents are concerned about bullying. I have asked the school to tackle this immediately.”

Academic results were also blasted in the report for being well below the national average, with boys’ underachieving “significantly”.

Since the last inspection in May 2007, Mr Seath said performance had remained “stubbornly low”.

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Mr Seath added: “Attendance has improved from unacceptable levels and is now good. However, further improvement is being held back by poor or very poor behaviour.

“The school has been slow to address many of the issues identified at the last inspection and governors have not appreciated the extent of the school’s underperformance.”

The school in Defoe Road, which has 657 pupils, has now been given Notice to Improve, forcing staff to take drastic action.

Inspectors will be re-visiting on a regular basis before another inspection in 12 to 16 months’ time. However, Mr Seath acknowledged that recent improvements had been made, but had not come into full effect yet.

He also praised the school, which has specialist science status, for achieving results well above the national average in those subjects.

n Does your child go to Thurleston? What do you think of the school’s performance? Send us an e-mail to

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