Suffolk New Academy’s principal pledges to make the Chantry school outstanding

Craig D'Cunha, the new principal at Suffolk New Academy.

Craig D'Cunha, the new principal at Suffolk New Academy.

The new headteacher of an under fire Ipswich school has told parents there will be “no quick fixes” as he aims to make the academy outstanding in three years.

Suffolk New Academy

Suffolk New Academy - Credit: Lucy taylor

Standards at Suffolk New Academy will only get “better and better”, according to principal Craig D’Cunha.

Ofsted inspectors branded students’ behaviour as “inadequate” and said too many were being “regularly absent” at the academy, formerly Chantry High School, when it was placed in special measures in January.

But Mr D’Cunha, who started the job last week, insists the behaviour he has seen “bears no resemblance” to the watchdog’s findings.

He met parents last night at an open evening where he announced plans to change the school’s name. “This is not a quick fix, it’s not about patching the school up and having to start the work again in 18 months,” Mr D’Cunha said.

“The changes we do are changes that we still want here in five and ten years time and will be making a difference then to the Chantry community.”

In an earlier interview with the Star he said he wanted more than 40% of students to get five or better A*-C grades, including in English and maths this summer. Last year’s figure was only 24%.

Talking on the proposed name change, he said: “I want to change the name, I do not like Suffolk New Academy.

“The school is in Chantry, it should have Chantry in there; it’s your school, it’s a community school, so it could be Chantry Community Academy.”

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Mr D’Cunha admitted the job, which is his first as a headteacher, would be his “biggest challenge”. His vision is to transform the school, take it out of special measures and have it classed by Ofsted as “good” within 18 months. An “outstanding” Ofsted rating would then follow in 2018.

Clive Bush, chief executive of the school’s proposed new sponsor, The Active Learning Trust, said: “This is a brilliant new start and we need you, the parents, to be ambassadors out there with your sons and daughters and go out in the community and get behind Craig, his staff and the school.”

Staff and pupils are set to move into a new multi-million building on the existing site in September.