Suffolk New Academy in Ipswich making progress towards leaving special measures, latest Ofsted inspection reveals

Suffolk new academy

Suffolk new academy - Credit: Lucy taylor

The principal of a struggling academy in Ipswich has hailed the progress made in getting it on the right track, following a latest Ofsted inspection.

Suffolk New Academy in Mallard Way has been deemed to be making “reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures”, after it was rated ‘inadequate’ in December last year.

Following a visit in February, Ofsted inspectors returned to the school earlier this month to monitor progress, and expressed encouragement at the developments made so far after the initial report classed all four areas of the academy as ‘inadequate’.

Craig D’Cunha, who took over as principal in February, just days before Ofsted inspectors took a closer look at the academy’s action plan, has welcomed the news.

“It is very, very positive, and we are very pleased with many of the things they have picked out,” he said. “There’s some strong teaching at the school, recognising the fact that the attainment is improving this year.”

As part of a series of improvements, teachers have cracked down on low level disruption in the classroom, and liaising with parents over disruptive pupils.

A new awards system for pupils has also been established to help recognise the achievements of students in every year, while the quality of teaching has been improved with more structured lesson plans and additional guidance for teachers.

Most Read

The academy has also started engaging with parents more directly, including through a forum in which more than 30 parents have been able to help give feedback to staff, as well as changes in homework to allow parents to offer more support to pupils.

Mr D’Cunha added: “The plan is fit for purpose and we are making reasonable progress, but it’s also about the recognition of parents and staff.

The academy has also insisted that the attainment of both disadvantaged pupils and their peers has increased as a result of changes being made, with progress having been made with more focused pupil premium funding and participation in the Duke of Edinburgh award.

Now, bosses have stressed they are still on target to reach the academy’s long-term goals.

Mr D’Cunha added: “It will be rated good in 18 months and outstanding in three years, and we are still on track with that.

“What we are not doing is resting on our laurels but we are heading in the right direction.”

A spokesman from the New Academies Trust which sponsors the academy declined to comment.

The news follows a target laid down by Suffolk County Council for all schools to be rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by 2017.