Report praises Lowestoft school’s progress

Benjamin Britten High School, Lowestoft PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Benjamin Britten High School, Lowestoft PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A Lowestoft high school is continuing to take 'effective action' towards coming out of special measures.

Jim McAtear, headmaster at Benjamin Britten High School in Lowestoft.

Jim McAtear, headmaster at Benjamin Britten High School in Lowestoft. - Credit: Archant

Benjamin Britten High School was graded as 'inadequate' by education regulator Ofsted in four key areas in 2014.

At the time it was the third out of the four high schools in Lowestoft to be placed in special measures – but Ormiston Denes and East Point academies have since improved, meaning the school in Blyford Road is the only one still graded as inadequate.

However, in the latest monitoring inspection report – the fourth to be carried out since the school was placed in special measures in 2014 – inspectors said: 'Overall standards have continued to rise' at the school since the last inspection.

The inspection took place on April 13 and April 14 this year and was published last Friday, May 5.

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Ofsted inspector Paul Lawrence – who carried out the inspection with Cathy Tooze – said: 'Leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures,' and 'the school may appoint newly qualified teachers before the next monitoring inspection.'

The report said: 'Since the last monitoring inspection, the interim executive headteacher – Jim McAtear – has been appointed to the permanent position of headteacher. The school plans to become an academy as part of a multi-academy trust later this term.'

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The inspectors added that after observing lessons and scrutinising students' work 'overall standards have continued to rise since the last monitoring inspection.'

The report said: 'School leaders believe that Year 11 pupils in 2016 will make considerably more progress from their starting points than they did in 2015. The school predicts that in 2016 progress will exceed the national floor standard.

'The quality of teaching has continued to improve overall. However, there is still too much weak teaching, particularly among temporary and non-specialist staff.'

The report adds that the 'conduct' of students within lessons and around the school is 'very positive.' Inspectors said: 'They appreciate the rapid and extensive improvements that have been made to the quality of the school environment and they look after their improved facilities well.'

Assessing the effectiveness of leadership and management, the report adds: 'Senior leaders have ensured that the school has made reasonable progress towards addressing the priorities identified in the last inspection report. They have drawn up focused and achievable plans for addressing these key issues which have resulted in overall improvements in teaching, behaviour and outcomes for pupils.

'The expert and experienced IEB continues to contribute to the effective leadership of the school.'

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