Mid Norfolk academy is a success after switch

Wayland Academy students. Photo by JohnHoulihan.com

Wayland Academy students. Photo by JohnHoulihan.com - Credit: john houlihan/witness.co.uk

The conversion of a Watton high school into an academy has been hailed a success by staff and students after a glowing Ofsted report.

Inspectors visited Wayland Academy last month for the first time since its change of status last March.

Being an academy means the school can act semi-independently, with more freedom than other state schools over finances, the curriculum and teachers' pay.

Inspectors rated the school 'good', praising progress made by students and adding that they mixed well with each other and that bullying was rare.

The report, published today, praised the enthusiasm of teachers and their strong subject knowledge, as well as the range of subjects available to students.

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Headteacher Michael Rose and teacher Glen Allott, who is on the senior leadership team, have issued a summary of the report to parents.

Mr Rose said he felt 're-invigorated' by the opportunity given by academy status.

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'These are the best ever inspection judgements and set us on course towards 'outstanding' in the next few years.

'Above all else we believe that no child should be disadvantaged and they should all have every opportunely to improve and release their spirit of success.'

The report said the school made good use of its links with Easton College and City College Norwich, with students well prepared for their next phase of education.

But it noted that the school had not made 'outstanding' because students had not made as much progress in English as students in other subjects such as maths and that some leaders and managers were not consistent in the way they reviewed and improved teaching.

Head boy Liam Sayer, 15, has been at the school throughout its changes, which included a new uniform introduced in September last year.

He said there had been a change in atmosphere at the school since it chose to become an academy.

He said: 'Everything's so different. People have more respect for themselves. We can go for what we deserve and think 'I can do it'.'

Head girl Sequoia Mallet, 16, added: 'Everyone's behaviour has improved and it's so much nicer.

'There's a real community spirit and so many opportunities to go for and to do what you want.'

The school is in partnership with Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN), led by City College Norwich.

The group aims to save money by setting up a shared service company for areas such as human resources, ICT and finance.

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