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Thetford Academy rated 'good' by Ofsted but sixth-form told to improve

A secondary school has retained its ‘good’ Ofsted rating but has been told to improve sixth-form provision.

Thetford Academy sets ‘high expectations of pupils’ behaviour’ and pupils ‘benefit from a well-planned curriculum that focuses on deepening their knowledge’, according to the education watchdog.

It follows a two-day inspection on March 4 and 5 at the school, in Croxton Road, Thetford, which also found that ‘pupils are happy and enjoy their time’ at the academy.

Dan Carter, principal of Thetford Academy (34966457)
Dan Carter, principal of Thetford Academy (34966457)

Ofsted said there was recently a ‘sharp focus on getting behaviour right’, teachers ‘appreciate the fact they can now teach without interruption’ and pupils’ ‘personal development is thought through’.

While the school was rated ‘good’ in the majority of key areas, sixth-form provision was judged as ‘requires improvement’.

The inspection team said students’ achievement in the sixth form ‘has been too low’ and ‘in some areas of the curriculum is better than in others’.

We’ve worked hard together to raise standards and expectations, and this report is a fair reflection of that - Principal Dan Carter

They said: “Where this is stronger, subject leaders and teachers have considered what students know and what they need to learn.

“Where there is weaker planning, students struggle to follow and keep up.

“Some students tread water rather than moving on and gaining the knowledge they need to deepen their learning.”

Inspectors said academy leaders should ensure teachers ‘match activities to meet students’ needs’.

They also found ‘inconsistent practice’ at the school when responding to some SEND pupils.

Principal Dan Carter said: “I’m very proud of our team at Thetford Academy.

“We’ve worked hard together to raise standards and expectations, and this report is a fair reflection of that.

“We are truly committed to ensuring that Thetford has a school it can trust and be proud of. This report shows that our community can have full confidence in the quality of education that we provide.

“We will be considering Ofsted’s advice to make sure Thetford Academy is even better when they next inspect us. We have exciting plans for our sixth form and we’ll be factoring in Ofsted’s advice as we move forward with these.”

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