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Iceni Academy celebrating ‘Good’ Ofsted rating

Academy Transformation Trust’s Iceni Academy is celebrating after receiving a rating of ‘Good’ by Ofsted following an inspection in July 2016.

‘Good’ is the second highest mark possible from Ofsted.

Inspectors particularly praised the efforts of Principal Gee Cook, stating that the ‘courageous and determined leadership of the Principal has driven substantial improvement in all areas of the school’.

Ofsted also applauded the Assistant Principal for her leadership of the primary site noting that she has a ‘very clear vision and is highly committed to ensuring all pupils are provided with an education that enables them to achieve’ that has resulted in a rise in standards. The quality of the early year’s provision was also praised and rated as Good following the inspection.

The quality of teaching has risen sharply and is now good according to inspectors, whilst ‘rigorous performance management and professional development…have resulted in a positive change’.

Pupils engage very well in their work with ‘praise used well by staff to motivate and encourage pupils’ whilst ‘questioning is used effectively to deepen pupils’ understanding and improve the progress they make’.

Inspectors complimented the academy’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare which was noted as outstanding. This was further supported by initiatives such as ‘LBGT week’ which ‘provide pupils with a greater depth of awareness and understanding of people that make up modern British society’.

Pupils have many rich opportunities for personal development whilst ‘careers and guidance is generally strong and prepares pupils well for working life or future education and training choices’. Praise was also extended to the behaviour of pupils across both sites.

Inspectors also noted the positive comments from parents through the Ofsted Parent View platform with one stating ‘My son regularly comments about how his teachers challenge him to do better’.

Iceni Academy Governors were also highlighted for having a ‘firm understanding of the strengths and areas for further development’ and the sponsor Academy Transformation Trust was also applauded for helping Governors to secure highly effective leadership stating that ‘this has had the greatest impact on the schools improvement’.

Principal, Gee Cook, commented: “This is a significant achievement for Iceni Academy pupils, teaching and learning staff and governors.  We have never, in the history of the academy or in the predecessor school had such a high grade and I am incredibly proud of the dedication and commitment of everyone involved.

“I’m delighted inspectors were most impressed with the behaviour in both the primary and secondary sites, noting that it is ‘impeccable’  and that they were also pleased to see that pupils’ outcomes were now broadly in line with national averages in most key stages.

“It was particularly pleasing to see that Ofsted recognised that school leaders are ambitious, they want the school to become outstanding and they are doing the right things to achieve this.’  They also concluded that ‘the quality of teaching has risen sharply’ and that the academy’s ‘work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding.

“Although, there is still work to do in the Sixth Form, the inspection team identified that ‘leaders are providing 16-19 study programmes that have improved significantly.’  I am delighted that Iceni’s achievements have been recognised and that pupils there could not find a single thing to improve!

“I would like to thank all my learning and teaching staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the academy is now Good and we will now focus our efforts on an Outstanding judgement at the next inspection.  I would also like to thank our pupils who are marvellous ambassadors of the academy.

“Finally, I would like to thank you – parents and carers – for ensuring that your children come to the academy with the right attitude to learning. Congratulations to all!”.

Joyce Hodgetts, Managing Director of Academy Transformation Trust, said: “This result is so well deserved. Gee and the team have worked incredibly hard and have always had the needs of the pupils as their prime concern.

“As the former Chair of Governors I can see and appreciate how far the staff and pupils have travelled. I am really proud of them all and I know they will continue to improve in the years ahead.”

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