Struggling school in special measures warned not to hire newly qualified teachers

Ofsted have sent a letter to Felixstowe Academy after a recent monitoring inspection Picture: KATY S

Ofsted have sent a letter to Felixstowe Academy after a recent monitoring inspection Picture: KATY SANDALLS - Credit: Archant

The headteacher of a struggling Suffolk school has vowed to work with Ofsted after inspectors warned it is not doing enough to come out of special measures.

The education watchdog recently sent Felixstowe Academy a letter warning bosses not to hire newly qualified teachers - adding that leaders and managers were not taking effective action towards the removal of the school's current 'inadequate' rating.

Taken over by the Unity Schools Partnership in September, the school - which is based in the town's High Street - experienced a difficult spell under former provider the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET).

It was put in special measures in February 2018, with Dr Therese Coffey, who is defending her Suffolk Coastal seat in this week's general election, calling for AET to withdraw from the school for the "benefit of pupils".Now the results of the school's most recent monitoring inspection, carried out by Ofsted at the end of October, have been published by the watchdog.Lead inspector Jason Howard said: "Leaders and managers are not taking effective action towards the removal of special measures."I strongly recommend that the school does not seek to appoint newly qualified teachers."The report also warns teaching standards have "not improved rapidly enough", adding that leaders are not responding to safeguarding issues appropriately or effectively.The report added: "Pupils regularly hear racist or homophobic language. Some pupils do not report this or other forms of bullying when it happens, because they are not confident that it will be dealt with effectively."However, Unity chief executive Tim Coulson said the trust "welcomes" the recommendation to not hire newly qualified teachers, adding it is "standard practice" for a school in special measures.And new headteacher Emma Wilson-Downes said she was looking forward to working with the education watchdog in an attempt to reverse the school's fortunes."I am delighted to be working with such delightful young people and staff who want to help the students achieve the best they possibly can. "I look forward to Ofsted helping us chart our progress over the coming year."

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