Stalham Academy celebrates positive Ofsted report which marks ‘enormous’ turnaround
- Credit: Archant
Strong leadership has transformed a previously troubled academy into a 'thriving, successful community' over a two-year turnaround.
In an Ofsted report published this morning, following a visit from inspectors in November, Stalham Academy was rated good across the board.
It gave particular praise to headteacher Glenn Russell, who it said has 'worked diligently' to raise standards since he took on the top job in April 2015.
'This has ensured that the school's reputation among parents and in the wider community has improved significantly over the last two and a half years,' it said. 'Parents confirm that together, the head of school and his deputy have transformed the school into a happy, thriving, successful community in a relatively short period of time.
'Senior leaders regularly monitor the impact of actions taken, which has led to rapid improvement over a relatively short period of time.'
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Inspectors said that the 'overwhelming majority' of parents are positive about the school and recognise the 'enormous' number of improvements over the last two years.
The school, formerly Stalham Junior School, converted to an academy in spring 2014 and joined the Right for Success Academy Trust based at Eaton Hall Specialist Academy, near Norwich. Prior to that, in March 2013, it fell from a good Ofsted rating and was put into special measures.
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The benefits of academisation have also been reflected in the school's results, inspectors say, which have 'improved considerably' and saw progress in reading and writing at the end of year six rank in the top 10oc of all primary schools nationally, according to the latest league tables.
'Progress in mathematics was significantly above average,' the report added.
Mr Russell said the school's improvement had now led to it having specialist leaders in education to provide support to other schools around the county.
He said: 'There has been some bad news coming from the school in the past, so it's great to have something positive.
'The support from the trust, the way they challenge you and have high expectations in place has been a real push.
'But the staff have also been fantastic, and they are the reason that the school is now performing as well as it is. We have gone from one extreme to the other.'
To improve, the report said that handwriting skills should become a focus and high expectations of pupils in English and Maths should be mirrored in other subjects.
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