Felixstowe Academy in special measures after ‘inadequate’ Ofsted report

Felixstowe Academy. Picture: PETER A COOK/FELIXSTOWE ACADEMY

Felixstowe Academy. Picture: PETER A COOK/FELIXSTOWE ACADEMY - Credit: Peter A Cook/Felixstowe Academy

Felixstowe Academy has been rated ‘inadequate’ and placed in special measures after an Ofsted inspection, it is understood.

It comes just weeks after the academy was confirmed as the only secondary school in Suffolk to have fallen below the government’s ‘floor standards’ for academic performance in 2017 when just under half (48%) of GCSE pupils passed both English and maths.

Therese Coffey, Felixstowe MP, has today called for the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), the London-based multi-academy trust which runs the school, to be replaced.

She said on Twitter this morning: “Thank you to the parents of children at Felixstowe Academy contacting me with their concerns about the school and Ofsted rating. I share that concern which is why I met the Minister last month and am seeing AET next week. I’m clear that AET have to go. A fresh start is needed.”

However, a spokesman for the AET, which runs 64 mainstream academies across the country, said improvements were being made.

“Although the overall Ofsted judgement is disappointing, the report recognises a number of areas of real progress in the academy: teaching and learning is improving; sixth form provision is good; and under performance is robustly challenged,” he said.

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“The academy’s recent mock exams with Year 11s also indicate that we can expect more positive results in both progress and attainment this coming summer.

“Under the leadership of a new chief executive, AET itself has implemented a radical programme to reform and renew the organisation, covering all aspects of how we operate as a trust and providing genuine value to every academy in our network.

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“The impact of those changes is beginning to be felt, and we expect to see more evidence of this as the academic year progresses.”

Parents yesterday received a letter from the school and a copy of the Ofsted report, based on an inspection in November and due to be published later this month, it is understood.

The academy, previously rated ‘requires improvement’, opened at its £19m state-of-the-art premises in Easter 2014 following the closure of Deben and Orwell high schools. Principal Anthony Williams was appointed in 2015.

When the provisional 2017 GCSE results were released last October, Mr Williams said: “We are disappointed with the headline figures, particularly for the students.

“However, as part of the academy’s robust improvement plan, issues around curriculum provision and quality of teaching have been addressed and we are confident that progress and achievement is rapidly improving now and will continue to improve.”

The school’s Progress 8 score, another key performance measure, was a ‘well below average’ -0.62 in 2017. This means each student performed just over half a grade worse in each subject on average than expected when they left primary school.

The academy has been approached for comment.

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