Joy at Fakenham school’s turnaround

Fakenham Academy Norfolk, Principal Matthew Parr-Burman ANL-150907-120749009
Fakenham Academy Norfolk, Principal Matthew Parr-Burman ANL-150907-120749009
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Education inspectors have recognised a swift turnaround in standards after finding a once failing school to now be ‘good’ in all areas.

Ofsted published a glowing report on Fakenham Academy on Tuesday, following a two-day inspection of the Field Lane campus in June.

The ‘good’ rating comes just two years after the former Fakenham High School and College was judged as ‘inadequate’ and placed into special measures to improve.

Inspectors who visited the academy last month found “achievement at GCSE is improving strongly” and they praised principal Matthew Parr-Burman and his senior leadership team for raising standards and challenging any under-performance.

Their report says this has led to “a sustained improvement in students’ achievement and a marked rise in the quality of teaching”.

It also highlighted the improvements in teaching and student attainment, saying “teaching is good and improving well, so that students make good progress overall”.

Standards in English and maths are good, and improving well in science, and disabled children and those with special educational needs also make “good progress”.

The academy, which has 827 students aged 11-18, was also praised for its sixth form provision, with inspectors noting “achievement is high in a wide range of subjects”. A high proportion also obtain university places, thanks to the “positive support and encouragment” for students.

Mr Parr-Burman said the former high school has come a long way since it became an academy, sponsored by the TEN (Transforming Education in Norfolk) group, following its “inadequate” rating in 2013.

He said: “I am incredibly proud of the achievement of students and staff over the past couple of years and this report recognises this work.

“All of us have worked incredibly hard to get to this stage. The report follows two consecutive best-ever sets of GCSE results and represents the best report for the school over at least the past 10 years. We have already started our work to move to outstanding.”

Ofsted said the academy can further improve achievement in GCSE maths by providing more help to middle-ability students and teaching can be developed by giving students more guidance in class.