Clare: Glowing report for flagship free school

Chair of Goveners Keith Haisman and head teacher Christine Inchley outside Stour Valley Community Sc

Chair of Goveners Keith Haisman and head teacher Christine Inchley outside Stour Valley Community School - Credit: Archant

A pioneering free school in west Suffolk, which was one of the UK’s first, has been assessed as ‘good with outstanding features’ by Ofsted inspectors.

Stour Valley Community School in Clare opened just under two years ago. Staff are celebrating after receiving preliminary results of the school’s first Government inspection. Two of the four main assessment criteria concerning student behaviour and attendance, and leadership and management were rated as outstanding.

While the full detail of the report is yet to be published, the lead inspector told governors and the senior staff he was “very impressed” with what had been achieved at the school.

Headteacher Christine Inchley told the EADT: “I am delighted with the outcome of this inspection. It is external proof of the quality of education that we can offer, and I am very proud of the whole team at the school for working so hard to achieve such positive results for our students.

“I am particularly pleased that the behaviour of our students is confirmed to be outstanding. Their attitude to learning, to each other and to everyone they come into contact with is exemplary.

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“As we move forward to our third year, parents can have confidence that their children will receive a first class education.”

When it opened in Septmeber 2011, Stour Valley Community School was one of just 24 free schools in the UK. It now has 348 students on roll, and is on target to achieve its maximum capacity of 575 students in 2015.

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During a recent visit to the school, Education Minister Lord Nash described it as a “flagship for the Government’s education reforms”.

He praised the hard work and determination of local people, including chairman of governors Keith Haisman, who had taken an idea on a blank sheet of paper and turned it into a thriving school.

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