An academy is said to be making “reasonable progress” towards coming out of special measures.

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Ofsted inspectors said a rise in standards at Thetford Academy has now become more securely established, with this year expected to deliver its “best ever” GCSE results in English and maths.

In particular they praised teachers for the “huge amount of additional support to students in many subjects through Saturday and after-school revision sessions”.

Lead inspector Elaine Taylor added: “This, together with adjustments to the curriculum and better teaching, is leading to rapid and, in some cases, substantial improvements in the progress of all groups of students.”

Dame Rachel de Souza, chief executive of the Inspiration Trust, said the latest monitoring inspection report highlighted “a wide range of areas across the academy where big strides forward are being made”.

She said principal Adrian Ball and his team were doing a “brilliant job”, adding: “The trust is committed to the academy being rated outstanding within the next two years.”

The 1,300-pupil school in Croxton Road, Thetford, was placed in special measures in February 2013. Since then the academy, formed in 2010 following a merger between the old Charles Burrell and Rosemary Musker high schools, has undergone a series of changes.

Following her visit to the academy on July 1 and 2, Ms Taylor said: “The rise in standards evident at the last monitoring visit has continued and is now more securely established.”

Ms Taylor praised the recruitment of “raising achievement managers” to support individual students but said there was “some evidence of poor literacy, presentation and handwriting and incomplete work”.

“This indicates that, whilst expectations are higher and students’ attitudes have improved, there is a need for further improvement if the academy is to meet its aim to be “good” by the next monitoring visit.”

How do you think Thetford Academy is doing? Write, giving your full contact details, to andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

18 comments

  • As a Mum of two children who have attended Thetford Academy, I have only praise and admiration for the support and dedication that both Teachers and Senior Team have given to my children and myself as a parent. Yes is it may be unfortunate on occasions that this is the only school choice in Thetford for the average Jo who cannot afford private education and yes you may think that this is a ride to success for people with big egos , but the Majority of Teachers at this school I believe are aspiring to teach Outstanding lessons for one reason only...... For the children!, We should be praising these children and giving these children positive things to be hearing about the Academy , not negativity that will engulf their impressionable minds.

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    Glass Half Full

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • I too am amazed that, once again, the Inspiration Trust are receiving nothing but positive press. I was not at all surprised that Thetford allegedly received 2 weeks prior notice of their inspection (as reported in the Guardian) as they seem to be too close to Ofsted. You can guarantee that the IT schools are all looked on favorably, and that their may even be influencing of outcomes from those higher up the chain. School's get one year to come out of Special measures but I'm sure this one will perhaps get a bit longer. This whole trust is ruining the education of thousands of students but claiming to be raising standards. Yes, the results may well go up in many of their school's, but at what cost? Look at staff turnover, look at the hours the students are now working (at the expense of all the other stuff we used to do to make us rounded individuals) and look at the changes being enforced on the schools involved. There is your real story, but of course, with friends in high places, who wants to rock the boat. IT school's may well end up churning out decent results, but their is a far bigger cost being paid.

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    OldSchool

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Thetford Academy were told it was going to be a monitoring visit, but if things were going well it would become a full OFSTED inspection. If everyone knows it why doesn't the EDP, unless they do know but choose not to report?

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    TheTruth

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Did they really.....how interesting. I have heard that this is true also for GY Primary Academy and that RDS spoke with senior Ofsted prior to the inspection. She was then present throughout the whole process which is unheard off for any chair of governors. Makes one question how biased Ofsted is and these sorts of stories just shatter any slight credibility that Ofsted had.

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    Sportswagon

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Why have the EDP chosen to ignore the report in the guardian on the 8th July stating that Thetford Academy we're given an early warning about their forthcoming ofsted inspection and instead have chosen to just report on what can only be described as a faux ofsted outcome? Surely this should not have been ommited? At what point will this paper start to provide unbiased and accurate reports? It is to start doing some real journalism and start asking the uncomfortable questions rather than just soaking up the P.R. twaddle. Please start to try and get some of your credibility back.

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    Academyscmademy

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

  • Well Robert the single site certainly has not been a goal of the majority of Thetford parents, or rather the single school. IT has no track record of anything much except for dubious ofsted decisions, internal appointments depending on how much you follow RDS blindly, pupils doing courses which no longer count in league tables and countless other issues which have served to inflate both the pay and egos of those aiming for high office.

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    TheTruth

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

  • Adrian Ball promised that Thetford Academy would be out of Special Measures and rated as "outstanding" within a year. "Plan in place to achieve this". This hasn't happened. RdS says "two years", their website says "three". Moveable goalposts. We were promised things would get better on a "single site" by one of the previous Headteachers. I suppose Councillors have to show backing for TA as they were fully supportive of closing the only other high school in Thetford.

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    Mark Adams

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

  • It does not seem to me that those commenting here have read and understood the latest monitoring report, further, I have seen no evidence that the Inspiration Trust is one of the academy "chains" that is either overstretched or failing. I am personally aware of the significant uplift in pupil aspirations, and the additional work this year's GCSE candidates have voluntarily engaged with. Lastly I would comment that this is the first year of single site operation, which has been the goal for a number of years.

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    Robert Kybird

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

  • This is shocking FA... but exactly what so many of us have said about this shocking semi privatising of our schools. OK Norfolk LA wasn't great but this current situation is far worse for us parents and is failing our kids.

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    Sportswagon

    Monday, July 21, 2014

  • So let me get this straight, Thetford Academy has been up and running for four years and still in the “requires improvement” as judged by Ofsted. With the GCSE results being below the 40% level for underperforming schools as set by the government, how can all this money spent on a new building and high salaries for senior managers be justified. It seems there are great similarities with the very poor performing Open Academy in Norwich, which has been an academy for six years with millions of pounds wasted on a new building, new uniforms and high salaries with bonuses for the senior managers and still this establishment as stated by Ofsted “requires improvement” with 34% A*-C. Even though Mr. Gove has been demoted (Hurrah) I fear the damage has been done to our education system, allowing senior managers to manipulate these establishments to protect their salaries without any scrutiny from the LEA.

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    GreyMan

    Monday, July 21, 2014

  • When, like me, your kids have to go to the only school in town we need to know for sure that everything is being done for our children. Time and time again we've seen examples of a lack of transparency in the education system. I'm fortunate that my son is good at maths and english but his optons were limited as to what else he could choose. I just don't know who we should talk to as it's a closed shop as far as the school, governors and trust goes, there needs to be an independent group who can take up any issues parents have (some of my work mates are in a similar situation)..

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    FAbagnaleJr

    Monday, July 21, 2014

  • No prob at all with Thetford being given extra resources, the children of the town deserve it. But over managed, dodgy academies certainly don't. Academy chain after academy chain are now seen to be failing...Kemnal being the latest one. Why do you think Mr Gove has been booted out?

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    Sportswagon

    Monday, July 21, 2014

  • the Thetford schools are all under enormous pressure because of the rapid growth of the town in recent years. We have a migrant population of approximately 10.000 and many of the children were non English speakers. This means that extra help and financial support is needed to overcome these difficulties. I am sure it will all balance out eventually.

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    caroline jacobs

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

  • So very true FAB and Sportswagon. Whistling in the wind.

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    guella

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

  • The report is still a smoke screen. These kids should be able to get better results without Saturday schools, what are they doing in lessons? Of course results will be up, but at what cost? Schools aren't just about grades in maths and english. The leadership team seem very good at playing Ofsted, I suspect it's a conspiracy to make academies and their corrupt trusts look good. It's not about the children.

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    FAbagnaleJr

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

  • My understanding is that ALL schools are supposed to be out of special measures in 12 months and that academies were supposed to achieve this even faster given the money lavished on them so Thetford youngsters are being sold down the road on a wasted academy policy that still seems to be a bit accepted by Norfolk folk.

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    Sportswagon

    Saturday, July 19, 2014

  • Thetford academy a failure? but why? with such a media friendly, but desperate faces fronting this failing Government policy, how could it possibly be going wrong?

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, July 19, 2014

  • So they're still in special measures then? Despite the sprinkling of academy fairy dust dispensed by godmother Rach.

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    One Horse Town

    Saturday, July 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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