Returning head at Norwich Road Academy pledges to drive up educational standards

New Norwich Road academy principal Jo Ryder in the academy's new library with some pupils.''FL; Scarlett, Arron, Jo Ryder, Casper and TJ.
New Norwich Road academy principal Jo Ryder in the academy's new library with some pupils.''FL; Scarlett, Arron, Jo Ryder, Casper and TJ.

A returning school head who was suspended while ‘management issues’ were investigated has pledged to turn around its educational fortunes as an academy.

Jo Ryder was reinstated as principal at Norwich Road Academy, in Thetford, after Norfolk County Council ruled no further action was needed following its inquiry.

With the expertise of sponsor the Academy Transformation Trust, she aims to drive up standards after it was judged ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in 2011 and told to improve in March. She said: “It’s about improving the teaching and learning. We already have some very good and outstanding teaching. It’s making sure that’s consistent across the school.”

They plan to introduce ‘improved ICT provision’ and work with other academies in the Trust to share good practice and leadership. The school also has a revamped playground, new play equipment and a new library.

Miss Ryder has led Norwich Road for three years and was previously a head at Kirkley Middle, in Lowestoft, taking it from special measures to good.

After the school became an academy in August, she expects a return visit from Ofsted. Miss Ryder said: “I’m looking forward to ticking four good or outstanding boxes.”