From ‘special measures’ to a ‘good’ rating – remarkable turnaround is hailed at East Point Academy

East Point Academy. Picture: James Bass

East Point Academy. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

More than three-and-a-half years ago, it had been described by government education inspectors as a school in 'special measures'.

Richard Dolding, principal of East Point Academy, Lowestoft. November 2016.

Richard Dolding, principal of East Point Academy, Lowestoft. November 2016. - Credit: Archant

But a Lowestoft academy has now completed a 'phenomenal turnaround.'

In March 2013, education regulator Ofsted had described how 'too many students underachieve' and there was 'not enough good teaching' as East Point Academy was given an 'inadequate' rating as a school 'that requires special measures.'

Since then it has joined the Inspiration Trust family of schools and seen its GCSE results climb to the highest in the town, with the school in the top third nationally for student improvement.

And there was further good news this week, as staff and students at the academy in Kirkley Run were celebrating a massive vote of confidence from the inspectors – after they received a 'good' Ofsted report.

With the 'overall effectiveness' of the academy rated as 'good' overall, its leadership and management was rated at the highest 'outstanding' level.

Ofsted inspectors visited the academy on October 11-12, looking in on 34 lessons as they spoke to students, staff and parents, as well as checking books and school paperwork.

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In their report, inspectors praised the efforts of staff right across the school to make improvements.

It said: 'Leadership is outstanding. The principal and the senior team have transformed the culture of the school. Leaders have tackled historic underperformance relentlessly. Teaching has improved since the previous inspection and is now good.'

The report adds: 'Years of poor attendance, low aspiration, inferior academic outcomes, staff instability and bad behaviour are things of the past, for the first time in the school's history.

'East Point is now a school that is unrecognisable from what has gone before it. Consequently, pupils, parents, and staff are almost unanimous in their praise for the 'transformation' in the school, over a short space of time.'

The report also welcomes the input of the Inspiration Trust both in raising standards and through the extended day of extra-curricular activities.

East Point Academy principal Richard Dolding said: 'Thanks to the commitment and hard work of pupils, parents, and staff we have seen a phenomenal turnaround at East Point Academy.

'Children in our town are just as able as any across the country, and our community is just as strong and determined too.

'Right the way through the school, and with the support of our partners at local primaries and in Lowestoft Rising, there is the spirit to keep on improving and this Ofsted report is a well deserved recognition of that.'

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