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