Ipswich: Academy insists it is on track - despite Ofsted warning

THE new Ipswich Academy is getting better – despite a warning from Ofsted inspectors that it has made inadequate progress towards raising standards since being set up a year ago.

That is the message from principal Nancy Robinson and the Learning Schools Trust which took over the former Holywells High School last year.

Ms Robinson said: “The inspectors came to the academy quite soon after it was set up.

“We are doing a great deal to improve things here, but it is always going to take time.”

The monitoring report recognises there is a new leadership team at the school and that it is putting emphasis on improving teaching.

It is introducing a new teaching model which has so far been rolled out to three of the five years up to GCSE level – and will be introduced throughout the school from September.

Ms Robinson said: “Where this has come in, we have seen better behaviour, less absences, and almost no suspensions.”

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She said the school was recruiting new teachers who should be able to step up the progress we are making at the academy.

John Baumber, chief executive of the LST, said the inspectors had visited the academy earlier than was normal after its establishment.

He said: “We are convinced that the academy is making progress. What is encouraging is that the inspectors could have taken action if they were not happy about what is happening.

“They are not doing that, which is an indication that, while they clearly feel there is a long way to go, the school is moving in the right direction.”

Ipswich Academy is looking forward to the formal turf-cutting ceremony to mark the start of work on its new building near the Gainsborough Sports Centre before the end of the current term.

Mr Baumber said: “The academy is about much more than the buildings, but this will be an important statement about its future.”

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