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Sudbury: Ormiston Academy rated ‘good’ by Government inspectors

11:12 23 June 2014

Principal, Caroline Wilson, is pictured at Ormiston Sudbury Academy.

Principal, Caroline Wilson, is pictured at Ormiston Sudbury Academy.

A west Suffolk senior school which was taken over by the Ormiston Academies Trust two years ago has received a “good” rating across the board from Ofsted.

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When the school was last visited in March 2012 as the former Sudbury Upper School, it was still under local education authority control and was judged as having made inadequate progress in key areas such as student behaviour and attendance. A significant proportion of pupils were also underachieving due to the poor quality of teaching.

But in a report due to be published this week, the new Ormiston Sudbury Academy has been rated “good” in terms of student achievement and behaviour, quality of teaching, and leadership and management.

In his report, lead inspector Roger Waddingham said students’ achievement at GCSE was improving rapidly due to good teaching, particularly in English, and he also singled out for praise the support given to students with special educational needs.

Principal Caroline Wilson said becoming an academy with Ormiston as sponsors was the “catalyst for the monumental change.” The report was proof that the school was on an upward trajectory and a long way toward becoming an outstanding school, which she hopes will happen by autumn next year.

Mrs Wilson said: “The biggest push had to be around teaching and learning, and making radical changes which we have done.

“It was never going to be a quick fix but this report proves that we are further along the journey than we thought and it is the ‘rubber stamping’ of what we said we would achieve. We have had a relentless approach to ensure that students who come here have the best possible deal.”

The Ormiston Trust took over the school at a time when the local authority was undergoing complete restructure from three to two–tier education.

Mrs Wilson added: “Being linked to the sponsor has been extremely beneficial for us because we can work as a team together.

“The big difference is that the students are very much on board with what we are doing.”

The academy, which currently has 735 students but can take up to 1,000, has started an outreach programme to work with primary schools and is increasing the number of subjects offered at sixth form.

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