IES Breckland achieves ‘good’ Ofsted rating three years after being placed in special measures

IES Breckland, based in Brandon in Suffolk, celebrating a 'good' Ofsted report. Picture: IES BRECKLA

IES Breckland, based in Brandon in Suffolk, celebrating a 'good' Ofsted report. Picture: IES BRECKLAND - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk free school backed by a Swedish education provider and put in special measures after its first Ofsted inspection has now been rated ‘good’.

IES Breckland, in Brandon, which opened in September 2012 in a 10-year contract with International English Schools (IES) based in Sweden, was rated ‘inadequate’ just 18 months later by the education watchdog amid concerns over results, behaviour, and teacher retention.

It was rated ‘requires improvement’ in 2015 and is now celebrating a ‘good’ rating after an inspection in September.

Gwyneth Gibson, lead inspector, praised the “decisive and inspirational” leadership of principal Alison Tilbrook, who pledged to drive up standards when the school was placed in special measures.

“She sets very high expectations for staff and pupils alike,” the report said.

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“Leaders at all levels are united in their desire to achieve the best possible outcomes for pupils. They are effective in identifying priorities and implementing the necessary improvements.

“Pupils’ progress is improving rapidly because the quality of teaching in the school is improving. Leaders check the quality of teachers’ work very thoroughly.

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Rapid action is taken when students fall behind, conflicts are now resolved quickly, and improving attendance is close to the national average.

Action is being taken to address low GCSE results in French, computing, and business studies. Communication with parents must be improved, however, it added.

IES was selected as the school’s education provider on behalf of Sabres Educational Trust.

The report added: “Sabres Education Trust, IES, and the governing body are ambitious for pupils. They work together well to improve provision and give pupils a wide range of learning and development opportunities, including working with their peers in Sweden.”

Mrs Tilbrook said: “I am incredibly thrilled. The three-and-a-half years’ journey from special measures to good has been the result of the dedication of students, teachers and parents supported by International English Schools, Sabres Trust, governors and all in the local community.”

She indicated a vow to achieve ‘outstanding’ next time.

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