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Stowmarket High School is ‘heading in the right direction’

PUBLISHED: 10:15 01 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:15 01 June 2017

Headteacher Dave Lee-Allan, has welcomed the inspector's letter. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Headteacher Dave Lee-Allan, has welcomed the inspector's letter. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Suffolk school criticised for its poor results and financial difficulties is reported to have quickened its improvement and is now “heading in the right direction”.

Stowmarket High School has celebrated the comments made by Her Majesty’s Inspector John Mitcheson, who returned to the school recently to assess its progress following its “requires improvement” rating in 2015.

In a letter following his inspection, Mr Mitcheson noted that poor results, long standing budgetary problems and issues with leadership had been challenges for the school. It states results in 2016 were “lower than expected” and attainment “below average”.

However, Mr Mitcheson said senior leaders and governors were taking “effective action” to tackle areas requiring improvement to become a good school. The letter notes new leaders of mathematics and science, and a co-ordinator of special educational needs have been appointed. It adds strategies are in place to reduce the school’s long-standing budgetary deficit.

The letter says Suffolk County Council and the Hackney Learning Trust “both feel that the pace of improvement is quickening, momentum is building and that school is heading in the right direction”.

Headteacher Dave Lee-Allan, who has been leading the school since April 2015, said: “We have leapt over some sizeable barriers over the last couple of years, and circumstances at times appear to be designed to want to hold us back, so to have such considerable praise for what we are achieving is really heartening.

“Mr Mitcheson saw that teaching is more consistent, achievement is rising and leaders at all levels are working cohesively to secure further improvement.”

The school is due another full Ofsted inspection this autumn and Mr Lee-Allan acknowledged that further improvement is necessary.

“Mr Mitcheson highlighted some work we need to do on planning for different ability levels, and ensuring the great work we have done with our marking is consistent across the board, but these are things already well within our sights,” he said, “This summer will see a significant improvement in our results, and our community will see in black and white that this is a good school.

Visit here for the full letter.

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