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'Reboot' pledge for Sybil Andrews Academy in Bury St Edmunds after Ofsted 'requires improvement' rating

A headteacher has pledged a ‘reboot’ for a Bury St Edmunds secondary school after it was rated as ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted.

In its first inspection of Sybil Andrews Academy since it opened in 2016, the education watchdog found that a ‘significant turnover of staff in recent months has had a negative impact of the quality of education pupils receive’ and parents had ‘expressed well-founded concerns’ about this.

It noted the Rougham Tower Avenue school, part of the Unity Schools Partnership, had been through a ‘period of significant change’ including the departure of previous headteacher Andy Prestoe, which ‘has been disruptive’.

Sybil Andrews Academy
Sybil Andrews Academy

However, new leaders have a ‘secure understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of provision’ and ‘begun to make improvements’.

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.”

After an inspection on May 14 and 15, Ofsted said in its report that ‘leaders’ curriculum plans do not support pupils’ learning as well as they should’ and ‘not enough teachers match the work they set closely to what pupils already know and can do’.

On the school’s strengths, it found that leadership capacity ‘has been enhanced across the school’ and pupils are ‘well prepared for their next steps after school’.

Meanwhile, ‘some teaching, such as in religious education and the arts, is strong’.

Trenica King
Trenica King

Trenica King, headteacher at Sybil Andrews, 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 the school faces and have begun to implement plans to make better provision.”

Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership and chair of governors at Sybil Andrews, said they were ‘determined to work with parents on the areas needing improvement’.

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