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Saxmundham: Staff and pupils praised in free school’s first Ofsted report

Pupils from Saxmundham Free School celebrate their recent Ofsted success with Headteacher David Lees

Pupils from Saxmundham Free School celebrate their recent Ofsted success with Headteacher David Lees

Leadership and pupil behaviour have been granted particular acclaim in a school’s first Ofsted report since opening less than two years ago.

Saxmundham Free School has been given an overall ‘good’ grade by inspectors, receiving an ‘outstanding’ mark for the behaviour 
and safety of pupils, and for the quality of its leadership and management.

The school was opened by the Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust in September 2012, replacing the town’s former middle school as part of a county-wide restructuring of the old three-tier system.

Critics argued that the Trust was opening free schools in areas with no existing lack of places, and at a cost to the taxpayer.

But the report, which follows a similarly positive outcome at Beccles Free School two weeks ago, has been greeted as demonstrating the school’s value in the local 
sector.

Dr Robert Cawley, Trust principal, said: “Both schools opened amidst strong opposition and it is a credit to all those involved who have worked hard to demonstrate the excellent role these schools can play in the local education sector.

“The reports are also a credit to the trustees of the Seckford Foundation who backed the setting up of both schools and the opening of a third school in Ixworth in September.”

Inspectors found a “highly cohesive school community” when they visited in May. They also found pupils to be “exceptionally polite, courteous and welcoming”.

David Lees, succeeded Dr Cawley as headteacher last year, said: “The very positive comments from the Ofsted inspectors are a compliment to our students, staff and governors for the hard work which everyone has put into this school in less than two years from opening its doors.

“The next challenge is to not 
only maintain these high standards but to build on them so we can make it an outstanding school in the future.”

A man has been jailed for seven years and four months after sexually assaulting a woman who was on her way home after a night out with friends in Colchester.

A man has been charged with possessing an imitation firearm, with intent to cause fear of violence, following an incident in Ipswich on Thursday.

A breakdown recovery man, who fled an A12 accident he caused, sending a car into a tree and a bridge, has been spared immediate jail.

In the past week children across East Anglia exited school gates sheepishly clutching brown envelopes with a look of dread writ large across their faces.

The family of missing Corrie McKeague are “devastated” by the news that they may now never know what has happened to the 23-year-old RAF gunner, after police called off a 20-week landfill search.

A Sudbury man has completed a circumnavigation of Jersey in a kayak to raise money for a meningitis charity 20 years after he recovered from the life-threatening infection.

Four Suffolk Asda checkout operators who stole hundreds of items in a “skim-scanning” fiddle have each been jailed for 10 months.

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