Students are ‘running the school’ – parent slams Suffolk New Academy after damning Ofsted report places it in special measures

Suffolk New Academy

Suffolk New Academy - Credit: Lucy taylor

An Ipswich academy has been placed into special measures following a damning inspection which slammed school standards, the Star can exclusively reveal.

Last night parents and bosses at Suffolk New Academy met to discuss its future after it was classed as “inadequate” by Ofsted inspectors in all four areas.

The education watchdog found students’ behaviour to be “inadequate” with too many being “regularly absent”.

In October, the Department for Education branded performance levels as “unacceptably low” and warned that funding could be pulled if standards fail to rise.

Principal Andrew Fell resigned just days after the DfE statement which criticised last year’s GCSE results where only 24% of pupils achieved five or more grades A*-C including English and maths.

A spokeswoman for the academy, which has around 650 students, declined to comment but said it would issue a statement on Monday.

Parent Simon Page claimed the school was not doing enough to control unruly students. His stepson, James Harvey, 15, attends the academy.

“It appears that unruly children are more or less running the school because the school is not dealing with them, therefore the children cannot learn because they are being disrupted on a regular basis,” Mr Page said.

“It’s been an academy for two years and it’s gone downhill ever since. I do not know how they get their funding. I am far from happy about it all, it’s certainly a scathing report, there’s no two ways about it.

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“As far as I’m concerned they should knock the whole school down and send the children elsewhere.”

Inspectors observed more than 30 lessons and judged teaching to be “weak” with students making “inadequate progress”.

Ipswich MP, Ben Gummer, said the report was “massively disappointing”.

“We have got to remember that pupils only have one shot at school and if we fail them at school then we are failing them for their lifetimes, that’s why we have to turn it around as quickly as possible,” he said.

The inspectors did find that the recently-appointed principals had taken “decisive action” to improve standards but it was “too early” to see what impact they have.

It is the academy’s first inspection since it was converted from the former Chantry High School in 2013. That school was deemed as “satisfactory” in 2011.

For a response from academy, see here