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Swaffham Academy told to improve by Ofsted inspectors

PUBLISHED: 15:52 12 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:28 12 January 2018

The Nicholas Hamond Academy in Swaffham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Nicholas Hamond Academy in Swaffham. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

A secondary school in Swaffham has been told it requires improvement in almost all areas by Ofsted inspectors.

In a report by the education watchdog, the leadership, quality of teaching, personal development and outcomes for pupils at The Nicholas Hamond Academy all require improvement.

The inspectors, who visited the school at the end of 2017, noted that the proportion of pupils who gained good GCSE grades in English and maths remained below the national average.

Disadvantaged pupils were also found to be progressing at a rate that is below the national average and teaching staff were not referring to the information that is available to them about the needs of individual pupils.

Inspectors said this was particularly the case when staff members were dealing with those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

The standard of teaching is said to be “not yet good enough across all subjects”.

Despite the problems, the inspectors did highlight that there were “many examples of good teaching and effective practice” being shared across the school and said that progress was being made to improve grades in English and maths.

The improvements that were underway following school’s previous inspection in 2014, which saw it rated as ‘good’ in all categories, are said to have stalled in October 2016 when a major staff restructure led to the dismissal of the principal.

An acting principal is currently in place but governors are yet to appoint a permanent replacement.

Meanwhile, the Academy’s sixth form programme was praised, with the latest report stating: “Sixth form provision is good. It provides a range of courses which allow students who do not achieve the highest grades at GCSE to successfully access further education and training.”

Last year, 48pc of students achieved A* to C grades in their A-levels.

The school is run by Academy Transformation Trust, whose chief education officer Julie Bloor said: “There is much that is positive within the report, the academy is on track to make the necessary improvements and we remain committed to supporting the leadership team going forward to continue to drive the changes needed in their journey to outstanding.”

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