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Ofsted gives Downham Market Academy a glowing report

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It's all good at Downham Academy - according to Ofsted inspectors who have just given the school its best rating for many years.

“Proud doesn’t quite do justice to how we all feel having received a glowing report recognising the many strengths our school has, and how far we have come over the last few years," said head of school Mark Eastwood.

The Ofsted team marked the academy as good in every category, delighting the Eastern Learning Alliance which has been working at the school since 2017.

Downham Academy pupils celebrate their good report
Downham Academy pupils celebrate their good report

In a statement, the Alliance said: “ This is particularly exciting news for the local community, as the school has not achieved a rating of ‘Good’ or better from Ofsted for well over fifteen years.

“This judgement reflects a significant milestone in the trajectory of rapid school improvement since ELA started their work at the academy in 2017.

“The team of five inspectors conducted a thorough examination of school life over the two-day inspection: conducting lesson visits, interviewing students and staff, and scrutinising student work, as well as considering policies, procedures and parental feedback.

“Inspectors’ comments were extremely positive, and covered a wide range of areas. They confirmed that the curriculum taught is ambitious, broad and challenging in nature; that students enjoy learning, feel well taken care of, and work hard; and that leaders have instilled an ethos which nurtures human values, equality, and inclusivity. They also confirmed that sixth form students are “mature, articulate and respectful,” showing a “strong grasp of complex ideas.”

Rolf Purvis, executive headteacher, said: “The Ofsted judgement received this week confirms that the incredible work of staff, students and the wider community over recent years has been given the recognition it deserves. Downham Market Academy is an excellent school for a whole host of reasons, and we are thrilled to be able to share a report that reflects this so well.”

Mr Eastwood added: “The ELA trust is not a separate entity who work outside of the schools; the trust is all of the schools working together, being supported and challenged to be the best that we can be. I would like to thank our staff and students for their excellent work in recent years: this fantastic outcome is down to you. Thank you for making DMA the great school that it is.”

And from ELA chief executive Lucy Scott: “Having worked with DMA since 2017, I am delighted that our school improvement journey has resulted in such a superb Ofsted outcome, which reflects what a great school it now is.”

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