Former failing Suffolk school shows huge improvement in latest Ofsted report

Alde Valley Academy students celebrate their GCSE results earlier this year.

Alde Valley Academy students celebrate their GCSE results earlier this year. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk school which was previously placed into special measures has received a glowing Ofsted report following on from its latest inspection.

Michael Wilson, Principal at Alde Valley Academy. Picture: ARCHANT

Michael Wilson, Principal at Alde Valley Academy. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Alde Valley Academy in Leiston which was described as inadequate by the schools inspector in 2013 has now been rated as ‘good’.

The previous inspection, which took place before the school became an academy, identified a number of areas that needed immediate change including the standards of teaching and management in the school.

The new report describes the changes that have taken place at the school as rapid and marked.

It highlighted how: “Leaders have successfully driven dramatic improvement over the last two years.”


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One of the most praised aspects of the leadership team was Principal Michael Wilson. Mr Wilson joined the school as acting headteacher in January 2016, becoming principal in that May.

“This is truly a reflection of the incredible hard work of all our staff, students and parents,” Mr Wilson said.

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“Since my arrival I have witnessed Alde Valley Academy improve dramatically, a reflection of our commitment to high expectations and high standards in every aspect of the school.

“This is a great boost for the town of Leiston.”

The most notable area of change in the report comes from behaviour at the school. In 2013 Ofsted were concerned by the level of students being referred to internal isolation for poor conduct, four years on behaviour at the school was given the highest rating of ‘outstanding’ with pupils being described as enthusiastic and exemplary when inspectors came to visit.

In its report, Ofsted highlighted the work undertaken by the Bright Tribe Trust, attributing much of the school’s success to its leadership and direction.

The multi-academy group took control of the school in 2014 and run a number of primary and secondary schools both in Suffolk and elsewhere.

Mary McKeeman, Bright Tribe Trust’s chief operations officer, said: “This report represents yet another success for Alde Valley Academy, following on from its hugely improved academic results. With the continued support of staff, pupils and the school community we know Alde Valley Academy can become the outstanding school of choice in the local area.”

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