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Ofsted delivers its first verdict on Edith Cavell Academy in Norwich after troubled past

PUBLISHED: 10:45 26 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:03 26 May 2017

Edith Cavell Academy. Photo: Steve Adams.

Edith Cavell Academy. Photo: Steve Adams.

Archant Norfolk 2014

A Norwich primary school has shaken off a “significant period of instability” to transform its fortunes, inspectors say.

Paula Jones, head of school at Edith Cavell Academy, with school pupils; Picture: Right for SuccessPaula Jones, head of school at Edith Cavell Academy, with school pupils; Picture: Right for Success

Edith Cavell Academy, on Duckett Close, has been told it is good across the board in its first inspection since becoming an academy under the Right for Success Trust in 2014.

After a visit on April 26 and 27, inspectors said: “Leaders, including governors and trustees, have taken decisive and effective action to eradicate weak teaching after a significant period of instability.”

They said leaders had “robustly tackled” weaknesses, and worked effectively to “establish stability and a positive ethos”.

In 2013, the academy’s predecessor Cavell Primary School was put into special measures, and lifted out the following year.

Paula Jones, head of school at Edith Cavell Academy, with school pupils; Picture: Right for SuccessPaula Jones, head of school at Edith Cavell Academy, with school pupils; Picture: Right for Success

Plans for its academisation, which emerged after the 2013 report, were met with opposition, a local campaign and a High Court challenge, which was thrown out.

But in this week’s report, head of school Paula Jones’ “enthusiasm and determination” to turn things around was praised.

Inspectors drew attention to teachers’ use of humour to manage behaviour, with one teacher telling pupils to “assume the Mona Lisa pose” to remind them to be quiet.

Mrs Jones said: “We’re thrilled. This is such a great acknowledgement of all the work put in by the team here, the pupils and the parents. To be judged by Ofsted as good in every category is a massive achievement. It’s a huge moment for our school.”

The report praised pupils’ behaviour and the school’s lunchtime approach, which sees pupils and staff eating together.

“Pupils are encouraged to take on responsibilities. For example, some pupils are the Edith Cavell Uniting Everyone Squad, who help to ensure that playtimes are happy times for everyone,” the report added.

Valerie Moore, chief executive of the trust, added: “To have happy children, achieving, in what is now a high achieving school, is a real accomplishment, and one of which we’re all justifiably proud.”

To improve, the report said, learning opportunities should be maximised across school, while assessments systems should focus more clearly on identifying pupils’ strengths and weaknesses.

• Do you have an education story? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk


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