Thetford Academy principal denies claims it tried to fool Ofsted inspectors and says school is being “victimised”

Adrian Ball, principal of Thetford Academy

Adrian Ball, principal of Thetford Academy - Credit: Archant

An academy principal has claimed his school is being 'victimised' after allegations were made that pupils were told to answer questions to impress Ofsted inspectors.

Adrian Ball, principal of Thetford Academy, refuted claims that students were told in an assembly to raise their hands en masse when asked questions - with one hand raised if they knew the answer and the other if they did not - in order to show inspectors they were engaged with lessons during an inspection in March.

Mr Ball said claims of an assembly were untrue, but that an internal investigation had shown that the allegation may have stemmed from a 'flippant' comment from a member of staff.

'We have found that a member of staff has made one flippant comment back last October.

'I'll be dealing with that internally, but it shows that parents need to come to me with concerns at the time. This is a year later and for it to come out in the press, with no prior warning, is unfair.

You may also want to watch:

'I feel we are being victimised, and the worst thing is that we have made all these improvements, that the staff and children have worked so hard for to turn the school around, and it's all being tarnished by these malicious rumours,' he said.

Mr Ball added that the claims were disproved further by the Ofsted report citing class participation as one of the areas which the school needed to improve.

Most Read

The claims come as the academy's recent Ofsted monitoring report is under investigation by the inspectorate amid claims that it was tipped off to their visit.

Mr Ball added: 'There's no systematic approach to fooling inspectors at the academy and we are fully respectful of the inspections when they take place.'

Are you a parent at Thetford Academy and have a view on this story? Let us know by emailing reporter Andrew Fitchett on

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus