Report to praise three Suffolk schools

By Danielle Nuttall, Sarah Chambers and Liz HearnshawSTAFF and pupils at three schools will be celebrating today after receiving national recognition for the quality of education they provide.

By Danielle Nuttall, Sarah Chambers and Liz Hearnshaw

STAFF and pupils at three schools will be celebrating today after receiving national recognition for the quality of education they provide.

More than 600 schools and colleges in the UK will be singled out by David Bell, the Chief Inspector of Schools, for making outstanding achievements or significant improvements.

The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) will publish Mr Bell's annual report on standards and quality in education this morning.

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It will list successful schools and those which have clawed their way out of special measures and are no longer considered to be failing schools.

Among the schools and colleges to be commended in the report will be Debenham High School, Woolpit Primary School and the Parkside Learning Support Centre in Ipswich.

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Debenham High School has done exceptionally well over the past few years and its latest Ofsted report was glowing in its praise of the school and its staff.

Inspectors described the school as “extremely effective” and said it was “highly effective in ensuring all pupils achieve very well”.

The school's performance at GCSE was given an A or well above average ranking in 1999, 2000 and 2001, while the teaching was described as very good overall.

“There are excellent arrangements to support all pupils and care for them. This has helped to create a very special ethos in the school where pupils feel valued, cared for and determined to do well,” the report said.

“The leadership by the headteacher is inspirational and has established very good management within the school.”

School headteacher Michael Crawshaw said the endorsement was “very pleasing”.

He added: “We are delighted at this glowing endorsement from the chief inspector and I congratulate everyone within the school community.

“The success of the school is based on teamwork and we feel that we have got a really good team with staff, students, parents and governors all working together for the benefit of students.”

Mr Crawshaw felt its success was helped by regular staff meetings where everyone could get together.

“We have got lots of staff who have been here quite a number of years who add to the stability and we have got young blood coming in as well,” he said.

“Every morning we have a briefing for 10 minutes for the whole staff and that's part of our thinking - we are small enough to be able to do that.”

Stuart Bailey, headteacher at the Parkside Learning Support Centre, said he was absolutely delighted it had been highlighted for its excellent performance during Government inspections.

The school, based in Spring Road in Ipswich, caters for 32 pupils in years 10 and 11 who have been referred to the unit because they have deep anxieties. Sometimes they have been the victims of school bullies.

There are currently eight members of staff, three of whom are full-time, and the school offers six core GCSEs and opportunities for vocational training with colleges in the area.

The report described the centre as “very effective” and said pupils performed very well and had significant success at GCSE.

Mr Bailey said: “It is all credit to the members of staff here who work tirelessly helping those pupils. It's recognition for what is being done here.

“As a pupil referral unit, it's unusual for that kind of recognition to be levelled at a place like this. All the students feel valued and the teacher's have high expectations.

“We had a high proportion of students going into further education last year. They are staying in education which is a great achievement.”

The Ofsted report said the centre was well-resourced and provided an excellent learning environment.

“There is a high proportion of very good teaching and pupils display very positive attitudes to learning,” it read.

“The profound progress pupils make in their confidence and self-worth is a direct result of the high level of care and respect they receive. The headteacher has a clear vision and provides dynamic leadership.”

The report suggested areas of improvement including the recording of individual strengths and weaknesses in subjects and bringing all teaching to the high levels seen in much of the school.

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