Remarkable journey - how school went from ‘special measures’ to ‘outstanding’ in just three years

The Eastgate Academy in King's Lynn had been rated outstanding by Ofsted. Pictured with pupils at th

The Eastgate Academy in King's Lynn had been rated outstanding by Ofsted. Pictured with pupils at the school is Principal Linda Hothersall. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A primary school placed in special measures has become the first in Norfolk to bounce back straight away to be graded 'outstanding'.

Eastgate Primary in King's Lynn is one of just seven schools in the country to make that achievement since Ofsted was formed in 1992, which a spokesman described as 'unusual'.

The primary, on Wyatt Street, went into special measures - the lowest rating given by Ofsted - before it converted into an academy in 2014. A week ago, the education watchdog pronounced it 'outstanding'.

Principal Linda Hothersall said: 'It was very surreal, I think I came out of the room without registering what had just been said.

'My director of education gave me a massive hug and then it all started to sink in.'


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She said the outstanding report was made possible by speaking to the pupils and finding out the best ways they can learn.

'We visited lots of schools up and down the country to look at what they had of best practice and then we tried to put our own version of what was best practice into place.' Mrs Hothersall added.

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Eastgate Academy is part of the CWA Academy Trust, which runs a number of primary and secondary schools in Lynn. They worked closely with the same teaching staff and turned the school around within three years.

Dr Duncan Ramsey, chief executive of CWA Academy Trust, said: 'On behalf of CWA Academy Trust, I would like to congratulate all at Eastgate for this tremendous recognition of what a special place Eastgate Academy has become.

'To be graded outstanding in every area is a significant achievement and shows how hard the whole community has worked over the last three years. I am particularly pleased that Ofsted have recognised how well the academy cares for its children alongside the really high academic results.'

Paul Brooker, Ofsted director for the East of England, tweeted: 'Congratulations to all at Eastgate Academy KL on your remarkable journey to an outstanding Ofsted judgement.'

Pupils have noticed changes in their school in the past three years, with more school trips, fun lessons and better equipment to aid their learning. Patricia in Year Six said: We're going to get e-books which we can take home and to encourage us to read.'

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