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Ipswich Academy launches plan of action to improve after recent Ofsted report





An Ipswich school has launched a plan of action to ensure teaching is of a high standard after a visit by an education watchdog.

Despite some high-quality teaching, Ofsted said pupils at Ipswich Academy, part of Paradigm Trust, often developed gaps in their knowledge during a May visit, after which it was handed a requires improvement rating.

In response, co-principals Abbie Thorrington and Samuel Fox, will host weekly meetings with parents and students in a bid to address the results of the inspection.

Ipswich Academy is on a mission to improve after a recent Ofsted report. Picture: Google
Ipswich Academy is on a mission to improve after a recent Ofsted report. Picture: Google

They said they wished to ensure quality of teaching remained high while placing a stronger emphasis on consistency.

Ms Thorrington said the school looked through Ofsted’s report and they were engaging with the community to address the issues raised.

This means staff, as well as parents and pupils, had an important role in shaping its future.

She said: “By working together, we can make changes quickly and effectively.

“While we know we have issues that need to be addressed, we were pleased that inspectors highlighted the high degree of trust between staff and pupils and the rich range of personal development activities we provide.”

In addition to the weekly meetings, the school has offered classroom management support for supply teachers since April.

It has also targeted three main areas to drive improvements and address concerns in the report, which are culture and ethos, stabilisation of staffing and ensuring a high quality of teaching.

Lead inspector, James Chester, said pupils at Ipswich Academy trusted adults to listen to, follow up, and help resolve any worries they might have.

This helped them feel happy and safe, he said.

While pupils understood the school’s high expectations when it comes to behaviour, they are sometimes not followed up on, Mr Chester said in the report.

There was too much inconsistency with how the curriculum was taught due to temporary teaching arrangements, Ofsted said, which the school had not been rigorous enough to support.

Ofsted highlighted that the number of pupils entering the English Baccalaureate was low, limiting the range of knowledge pupils build.

However, early reading was said to be a strong point for the school.

Mr Fox said: “We’ll use these meetings to keep our parents and carers informed about progress and to tap into our students’ experiences and views in order to find what will work best.

“The inspectors have pointed to the areas in which we need to improve.

“As well as our local school community, we’ll be drawing on the expertise within Paradigm Trust.

“Our trust’s director of school improvement, Ben Carter – a senior leader and an ex-headteacher himself – will also be actively involved.”

Ipswich Academy was awarded a good rating for its personal development, while all other categories were marked as required improvements in the report.

It had 1,057 pupils aged 11 to 16 on its roll at the time of the inspection.