Martham school making progress after first Ofsted report as academy

Principal Dr Simon Fox outside Flegg High School in Martham. Picture: James Bass

Principal Dr Simon Fox outside Flegg High School in Martham. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

A rural academy that Ofsted says 'requires improvement' is well-placed to shake off the rating and make rapid progress.

Flegg High School in Martham was put in the category following an inspection last month - its first since converting to a business and enterprise academy.

And while inspectors flagged up the variable achievement of students - especially in science, and the low proportion achieving the highest grades - they hailed the 'refreshing determination' of Dr Simon Fox who has been steering the school since January last year.

Inspectors who visited the 880-pupil secondary school praised the children's behaviour, good attitudes to their learning, and their pleasant and helpful manner.

The report also stated the children were now making good progress in school, with gaps between different groups of students closing rapidly, and strong improvements in teaching and achievement.

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The school was told overall it requires improvement, but behaviour and safety and leadership and management were found to be 'good.'

A statement from the school said the judgement related to data from 2012, but that the detail of the report reflected the 'clear and decisive' action taken to address the issues since the new principal joined the school.

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Dr Fox said: 'The content of the report and the overall tone is one we are delighted with. It recognises the huge amount of energy and commitment the whole school has put into driving forward some key changes, and in really building a community that aspires to be the best it can be.

'Nothing Ofsted said was a surprise and they said we are doing everything they would have told us to do, which was encouraging.

'The content of the report reads more like a 'good' graded school in lots of ways and that is the positive I am taking.'

Improving the teaching of science was already a priority, he said, adding: 'I want it to be one of the best departments in the county and because of my passion I am not going to stop until it's done.'

The report goes on to say key aspects of the school's provision are good because teachers and leaders are now held fully accountable and additional government funding is used effectively to raise standards.

Inspectors noted that teaching was becoming more consistent and acceleration in progress over time was clearly evident.

The report praised the school's approach to students exploring their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding, as well as the range of guidance events provided for careers and training options.

Dr Fox was said to have brought with him 'a refreshing determination' to improve the school and that progress was quick, although uneven.

Attendance has improved and a zero-tolerance approach was leading to more exclusions and having an impact.

To be better the school needs more good teaching that stretches able students and supports the lower abilities.

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