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Brandon School has improved but needs to do more

Alison Tilbrook, headteacher at IES Breckland in Brandon
Alison Tilbrook, headteacher at IES Breckland in Brandon

England’s first for-profit free school has been taken out of special measures following an inspection by the education watchdog.

Ofsted inspected IES Breckland last month and found improvements which warranted taking the Brandon school out of special measures.

The Swedish-owned free school has been given a new ‘requires improvement’ rating, one above the ‘inadequate’ label it received in January last year, which resulted in a period of intensive monitoring under special measures.

Ofsted’s latest report says ‘strong leadership has transformed the school’ and it is now on a ‘very positive trajectory’.

But while inspectors have rated the effectiveness of the school’s leadership and management as ‘good’, they have said the quality of its teaching, learning and assessment still ‘requires improvement’, as does the personal development, behaviour and welfare of its pupils and the outcomes for its students.

To improve further the report says the school needs to raise the standard of achievement in Key Stage 4 English, ensure its teachers set ambitious targets for all pupils and eradicate the small amount of disruptive behaviour in Year 10 that is impacting the learning of others.

In a letter to parents, principal Alison Tilbrook said she was ‘proud’ to have ‘burst out of special measures’ and was already undertaking steps to address the areas identified by Ofsted as requiring further improvement.”

She said: “We remain committed to continuing the school’s positive trajectory towards the best possible Ofsted judgement in the near future.

“Although the report keeps us in requires improvement, it acknowledges all the positive steps undertaken in just under two years.”


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