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Felixstowe School, in High Street, rated good by Ofsted for first time in its history





A coastal town school has been rated good by Ofsted for the first time in its history.

Felixstowe School, in High Street, part of the Unity Schools Partnership, was previously graded as requires improvement in 2021.

It received the good grading in all areas after the watchdog’s visit on June 4 and 5.

Felixstowe School, in High Street, has been rated good by Ofsted for the first time in its history. Picture: Gooderham PR
Felixstowe School, in High Street, has been rated good by Ofsted for the first time in its history. Picture: Gooderham PR

Inspectors said pupils benefitted from being part of the school and that it has high aspirations for them.

Emma Wilson-Downes, headteacher, said: “As a school, we are delighted with the outcome of the inspection.

“We are excited to continue our work to ensure that we continue to drive all areas further over the next months and years to come.”

The report said pupils now make good progress in a range of subjects where previously they did not, thanks in part to an ‘ambitious’ new curriculum with challenging lessons.

There is less disruptiuon in classes due to leaders raising the standards for behaviour and conduct, the report said.

Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity, said: “Families in Felixstowe for too long did not have a secondary school graded ‘good’ in their town.

“We are proud to be associated with staff that now provide the education children should receive.”

Inspectors noted the school had a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities incuding robot construction and podcasting.

They praised teachers’ knowledge in many subjects and said they give clear explanations as well as checking pupils’ knowledge regularly.

Sixth form students in particular benefit from teachers with strong subject knowledge and teaching is regarded as ‘focused on individual needs’, which has helped students to make better progress than in the past.

The curriculum is adapted for those with special educational needs – inspectors said the school ‘takes great care’ to provide a small number of pupils with relevant alternative earning placements to suit their needs better.

The report recognised the school for the consideration it gives to staff wellbeing when making decisions, which has resulted in the school attracting and retaining great teachers.

Inspectors noted some pupils do not attend school as often as they should, which means they do not achieve as well as tey should. They said leaders need to work to identify the barriers for these pupils to regular attendance to reduce persistent absence.

The report also said support for the weakesrt readers is not always closely matched to what they need, so a small number do not learn to read well. It said the schools should ensure all pupils get the right help to improve their reading.

Safeguarding arrangements are regarded as effective.