Felixstowe Academy bosses pleased with progress made at school

Felixstowe Academy, in High Road, Walton. Inset, head teacher Anthony Williams Picture: PAUL NIXON P

Felixstowe Academy, in High Road, Walton. Inset, head teacher Anthony Williams Picture: PAUL NIXON PHOTOGRAPHER - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk secondary school which was placed into special measures last year has received positive feedback in its first monitoring report.

Pupils at Felixstowe Academy Picture: FELIXSTOWE ACADEMY

Pupils at Felixstowe Academy Picture: FELIXSTOWE ACADEMY - Credit: Archant

Felixstowe Academy was rated ‘inadequate ‘ following an Ofsted inspection back in November.

The inspection which took place between June 26 and 27 praised the school’s development in the time since its last inspection.

Felixstowe Academy headteacher Anthony Williams said he was pleased with the progress noted by inspectors after the inspection.

“It’s a very positive report overall,” said Mr Williams.

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“I am particularly pleased that inspectors acknowledged the ‘no excuses’ culture which now permeates the school.

“Much work has been done to change attitudes, perceptions and the culture, which is an integral part of effective school improvement.”

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The report praised the systematic monitoring of pupils’ work.

It also praised the efforts that the school was making to reach out to parents.

“You have also attempted to restore positive relationships with parents through making,” said the inspector.

“You acknowledge the need to continue to engage with parents so that they continue to have a more realistic view of the school and the progress being made.”

Among the problems identified by Ofsted last November were concerns around a culture of bullying.

The initial report found that not only was bullying not being dealt with but that pupils did not feel safe at school.

However, the new report notes that attitudes at the school have now changed: “Inspectors found evidence to suggest that the school is dealing more effectively with incidents of bullying.”

It also noted that reported incidents of bullying have decreased over the year.

Headteacher Mr Williams said the school had taken a number of measures to reduce bullying including the introduction of mentors that students could speak to about the issue.

He also said that the school was also signed up to the anti-bullying quality mark which hopes to reduce the number of children who are subjected to bullying.

Having achieved the criteria for the bronze level mark the school is now aiming for silver and gold.

Among the other changes made at the school was a restructuring of both middle and senior management. “Your strategic decision to restructure the senior leadership team has led to greater clarity of roles and responsibilities,” noted the report.

There have also been changes to the teaching staff. Mr Williams said that the school had been looking for high quality teachers who were “aligned to what we are doing” and that they would be fully staffed for September.

The report identified a number of areas in which the school needs to improve including pupil attendance, particularly in regards to disadvantaged pupils.

It also suggested that more work needed to be done to help those with special educational needs or disabilities make more rapid progress.

Mr Williams said that they would be focusing on these areas and that their priorities would be to improve the quality of teaching and accelerate the progress of all students across the board.

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