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High school out of special measures after two years

PUBLISHED: 16:07 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:26 19 June 2019

Wayland Academy in Watton, part of the Norfolk Academies Trust, has been taken out of special measures after its most recent Ofsted inspection. Picture: TEN Group

Wayland Academy in Watton, part of the Norfolk Academies Trust, has been taken out of special measures after its most recent Ofsted inspection. Picture: TEN Group

Archant

A "steady and sustained journey of improvement" has helped a Norfolk high school pull itself out of special measures.

Glen Allott, principal at Wayland Academy in Watton. Picture: Henry GeorgeGlen Allott, principal at Wayland Academy in Watton. Picture: Henry George

Wayland Academy was judged to be inadequate by Ofsted in July 2017 - a two-grade drop from its previous "good" rating - with worries about pupil safety and the effectiveness of leadership.

But following five monitoring visits from the education watchdog the school has had its ranking raised to "requires improvement" - with pupils' development, behaviour and welfare judged to be good.

Inspectors said school leaders had taken significant strides in improving behaviour, with fewer incidents of misbehaviour recorded this year, and attendance, which is now above the national average.

Sustained efforts to raise achievement, particularly for GCSE students, were said to be working and inspectors felt pupils were making better progress than they have in the past - but they said the quality of teaching had not improved fast enough to raise achievement fully across the school.

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Pupils told inspectors they recognised the changes made at the school and now feel the school is "a safe, stimulating and enjoyable place to be".

Inspectors said there was still work to do to even out inconsistencies in teacher and engage disadvantaged pupils in learning.

Principal Glen Allott said the school would continue to push for improvements with "renewed vigour" after the inspection's positive feedback.

"This report recognises the real improvements we have made through a concerted focus on key areas - attendance is now above the national average, students feel happy and safe and consistently have a positive attitude to learning, and our strategies to strengthen teaching and learning are leading to better outcomes," he said.

"This report confirms that our strategies to improve teaching and learning are on track to bring about further improvements. We recognise that we have further to go in our improvement journey, making sure that the same high standards are applied consistently across all areas of the curriculum."

The school is part of the Norfolk Academies Trust, run by the Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN) group, and has around 560 pupils.

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