MP Coffey still seeking to oust trust, despite positive report

Felixstowe Academy which is run by AET Picture: PETER A COOK/FELIXSTOWE ACADEMY

Felixstowe Academy which is run by AET Picture: PETER A COOK/FELIXSTOWE ACADEMY - Credit: Peter A Cook/Felixstowe Academy

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey began her battle to remove the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) from Felixstowe Academy in February and says she will continue to work to have them removed despite the school’s positive feedback on their Ofsted monitoring report this week.

Therese Coffey says she will continue to try and remove AET Picture: GREGG BROWN

Therese Coffey says she will continue to try and remove AET Picture: GREGG BROWN

Dr Coffey said her concerns remained after another AET school, Langer Primary, was rated inadequate by Ofsted in May.

“The recent ‘Inadequate’ Ofsted report at AET sponsored Langer Primary has strengthened the case for why AET are not appropriate to be running either school,” said Dr Coffey.

“My recent petition calling for the removal of AET was signed by 2,599 people and I had a very constructive meeting with Education Minister, Nick Gibb MP, in Parliament last week to discuss the matter.

“I am confident we will get the change we are seeking, which is actively being considered by Department for Education officials. Whilst I said it would take time I hope to get some news within the next 2 months.”

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AET insists there have been changes since the special measures came into force.

An AET spokesperson said: “AET is committed to turning around Felixstowe Academy and is encouraged by Ofsted’s recent judgement that we are taking effective action at the academy. Dr Coffey began her campaign prior to meeting with the new leadership team at AET, who have led a radical turnaround programme at the organisation, covering everything from the composition of AET’s Board and governance of individual academies through to school budgets and school improvement. The impact of these changes is now being felt at Felixstowe.

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“Major changes have been made, and whilst there is more to be done, Ofsted’s most recent inspection makes for encouraging reading. Specifically, the report notes that the quality of teaching is improving and there is an uptick in pupil progress; behaviour is improving and bullying is being dealt with more effectively; and parents recognise the improvements that have been made and relationships are on a better footing.

“At a national level, our Key Stage 2 results in our primary schools have seen an improvement from 47% in 2016 to 66% this year, and we expect to build on this further in the coming years.

“We are keen to continue to engage with Dr Coffey to reassure her of the progress that has been made, and to set out the further steps we will be taking to accelerate the rate of improvement at Felixstowe Academy. We have a meeting scheduled for September, and look forward to discussing this with her then.”

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