Norwich's Open Academy 'delighted' at improved Ofsted rating

PUBLISHED: 09:36 13 May 2015 | UPDATED: 09:40 13 May 2015

Norwich Diocese Academy Trust. Chairman Fred Corbett.

Norwich Diocese Academy Trust. Chairman Fred Corbett. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

The first school to become an academy in Norfolk has celebrated a "good" Ofsted report, after failing to meet the grade two years ago.

Open Academy in Norwich, formerly Heartsease High School.Open Academy in Norwich, formerly Heartsease High School.

Inspectors said the Open Academy, in Heartsease, had improved since its 2013 inspection, when there was some controversy over its result.

The latest report said the school’s GCSE results were better, it had strong leadership and students learned in a caring and supportive environment.

Fred Corbett, chairman of governors, said most of the credit should go to the students, staff and principal Jon Platten.

He said: “We are delighted for our students, their parents and the community in north-east Norwich that all their hard work has been recognised and deserves to be celebrated.”

The school, formerly Heartsease High, became an academy in 2008, under the sponsorship of the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, and millionaire businessman Graham Dacre.

In November 2013, Mr Dacre stepped down so the school could join the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust.

Ofsted inspectors had controversially said the school “requires improvement” after its inspection in June 2013, despite the original draft of the report praising it as “good”.

But the latest report said the principal had a determination to raise standards within the academy, which they said resulted in a learning environment where all were valued and supported.

They said: “Students are encouraged to take leadership roles within the academy, such as becoming a prefect.”

Inspectors said the school fell short of “outstanding” because the proportion of students who gained five or more A* to C grades including mathematics and English remained below the national average.

They said: “Teachers in some subjects do not set work that is hard enough to challenge the most able students.”

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