Ofsted tells IES Breckland Free School its plans for improvement are “fit for purpose”

PUBLISHED: 15:19 22 May 2014

IES Breckland school in Brandon. Principal Alison Tilbrook.

IES Breckland school in Brandon. Principal Alison Tilbrook.

IES Breckland Free School has been told its plans for improvement are “fit for purpose” in its first Ofsted monitoring inspection since it was plunged into special measures.

The Brandon school was visited by inspectors on May 7 after it was deemed inadequate by the education watchdogs in March.

IES Breckland Free School rated as “inadequate” by Ofsted and put into Special Measures

A letter from Ofsted to the school, released today, says that its statement of action and improvement plan are fit for purpose.

Improvements have also been made in leadership and governance.

Improvements to teaching “have begun”, according to the letter, but “much more work is needed”. There were criticisms of how pupil’s work is presented and the length of time it was taking for work to be marked.

Alison Tilbrook, who was appointed as IES Breckland principal shortly after its initial inspection in January, said the letter showed there was “much to be encouraged by”.

“The evaluation shows the positive course of action and outcomes in the school. The inspection recognises that steps we have taken have led to improvements, in both the education students receive and the general life of the school,” she said.

“It also confirms our views about where further improvements are needed and the areas we need to continue to work on.

“I would like to thank students, parents, carers, staff and the community for their help and support so far during this process of improvement at the school. What I hope you take from the inspection is that your efforts are being recognised, but that we must keep going to create and secure the school that Breckland and its families deserve.

“Improvement is taking place every day, but it is an ongoing process and there is still a long way to go. One positive monitoring inspection is a good start, but everyone at the school must continue to work hard to ensure the positive steps that we have taken so far are just the beginning.”

The school opened in September 2012 after International English Schools (IES) signed a 10-year contract to run the school worth £21 million.

It moved into the home of the former Breckland Middle School, which closed due to Suffolk County Council’s School Organisation Review (SOR).

A campaign to create the school was run by the Sabres Educational Trust, which included former staff members of Breckland Middle School, and backed by Matthew Hancock, MP for West Suffolk.

Do you think changes at the school have been effective? Let us know by emailing reporter Andrew Fitchett on


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