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Ipswich school Parkside Academy, part of Raedwald Trust, celebrates good Ofsted report

A special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school where pupil-teacher relations were described as ‘highly positive and encouraging’ is celebrating a ‘glowing’ report.

Parkside Academy, in Ipswich, was delighted with the results of its first Ofsted review since the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw it bounce up to a good rating from requires improvements.

Pupils at Parkside, part of Raedwald Trust, were well supported to continue their education out of mainstream education, lead inspector Tessa Holledge said.

Parkside Academy was rated good by Ofsted. Picture: Google
Parkside Academy was rated good by Ofsted. Picture: Google

Angela Ransby, the chief executive of Raedwald Trust, said the ‘glowing’ report described a school where the teachers were deeply committed to the children they teach.

She added: “I was so pleased that inspectors noted the incredibly positive relationships between staff and students.

“It is genuinely touching to read that our students are experiencing success, some for the first time in years.

“They are growing both academically and in confidence and returning to their mainstream schools ready to meet challenges.”

Parkside Academy is made up of two sites, one in Spring Road and another in Lindbergh Road, but also includes Ipswich Hospital School in Heath Road.

It offers provision for those at risk of permanent exclusion from mainstream education.

The Spring Road site was unused at the time of the inspection, but remains available if needed.

Ms Holledge said some pupils at Lindbergh Road experienced success for the first time in years and saw a significant increase in attendance.

Despite praise for the curriculum and the relationship between pupils and staff, Ms Holledge highlighted some areas for improvement.

These included teachers occasionally not adapting teaching or activities to pupils’ needs and as a result, students do not learn as intended.

Some pupils also did not have much understanding outside of their local area. The school offered limited opportunities to learn outside its ward and needs to support pupils’ personal development further by expanding pupils’ experiences of the wider world, inspectors said.

However, Readwald Trust was praised due to the schools within the trust working together, allowing them to hone their craft.

Kirsty Osborne, the headteacher of Parkside, said: “We are very pleased Ofsted have noted the incredible job done by our teachers.

“I am extremely proud to be part of this journey.”

Parkside Academy can support up to 10 pupils between the ages of 11 and 16, but only operated a Key Stage Four programme, while Ipswich Hospital School catered for anyone aged four to 18.

The Ofsted visit took place in January.