Suffolk school ‘requires improvement’ following first Ofsted inspection
A Bury St Edmunds secondary school which opened less than three years ago has been handed a ‘requires improvement’ rating from Ofsted in its first inspection.
Sybil Andrews Academy, which opened on the town's Moreton Hall estate in September 2016, was found to require improvement across all four categories graded by the education watchdog.
Inspectors said the departure of previous headteacher Andy Prestoe, who left suddenly in February last year, has been "disruptive" and the "significant turnover of staff" in recent months has had a negative impact on pupils' education.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are also not being supported as well as they should be at the school, according to Ofsted.
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Academy leaders have vowed to "reboot" the school and make "rapid improvements" following the inspection on May 14 and 15.
The report said: "There has been a significant turnover of staff in recent months which has had a negative impact of the quality of education pupils receive.
"Leaders have successfully engaged support from within the trust to begin improving some aspects of the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. "However, too much remains less effective than it needs to be."
The education watchdog also raised concerns over pupil behaviour, adding that it is "not managed well" in lessons.
"Some teachers do not apply the school's behaviour management systems well enough. When teaching does not meet their needs, some pupils misbehave," the report added.
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Inspectors praised the Unity Schools Partnership trust, of which Sybil Andrews is a member, for "providing effective support".
Trenica King, who was appointed as headteacher at Sybil Andrews Academy in May 2018, said: "The thing that shines through the report to me is the spirit of the school.
"We are a school where new leaders recognise the challenges that the school faces and have begun to implement plans to make provision better."
Nick Froy, the school's executive headteacher, said: "We recognise the need to 'reboot' the school and refocus all of our efforts around our core values and vision.
"We are very ambitious for this school and we have every confidence that it will improve rapidly. For us, this is a timely health check as we transition from new school to established school."
Pupils were found to be well prepared for their next steps after school and receive effective advice and guidance, according to the report.
Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership and chairman of governors at Sybil Andrews Academy, added: "This is a school with fabulous children.
"It has a tremendous future and we are proud to be responsible for the school. We take Ofsted's feedback seriously, both the positive and the critical.
"We are determined to work with parents on the areas needing improvement. We hold parent forums in many schools, but this is the school where we see particularly strong engagement and support from parents."
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