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East Point celebrates 'Good' Ofsted rating

Published on 18/11/16

East Point Academy has been given a massive vote of confidence by Ofsted after its inspectors visited the school.

The school has been awarded a coveted 'Good' rating overall - just one off the top grade - with its leadership and management being rated at the highest 'Outstanding' level.

It marks a remarkable turnaround for the Kirkley Run school, which just three years ago was in special measures.

Since then it has joined the Inspiration Trust family of schools and seen its GCSE results climb to the highest in the town, with the school in the top third nationally for student improvement.

During their visit in October, Ofsted inspectors looked in on 34 lessons and spoke to students, staff and parents, as well as checking books and school paperwork.

In their report, inspectors praised the efforts of staff right across the school to make improvements.

"Years of poor attendance, low aspiration, inferior academic outcomes, staff instability, and bad behaviour are things of the past, for the first time in the school's history. Pupils, parents, and staff are almost unanimous in their praise for the 'transformation' in the school." it said.

"Against a backdrop of tremendous challenges, leaders have embedded an ethos of hard work, sharply focused improvement, high aspiration, and enthusiasm. Senior and middle leaders are the driving force of the school. They work collectively to ensure that teaching, intervention, and support goes to correctly identified pupils at the right time," it said.

The report welcomes the academy's efforts to support pupils, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. It welcomes the input of the Inspiration Trust both in raising standards and through the extended day of extra-curricular activities.

"Pupils speak highly of their archery sessions, their music tuition, their role in the drama production, and the STEM club (science, technology, engineering and maths)," it said.

Ofsted's report also picked out the strong pastoral support at the school, saying students enjoy school and feel comfortable talking to staff about a wide range of issues, and feel "highly valued as individuals".

East Point Academy principal Richard Dolding said: "This report unveils what at times has felt like Lowestoft's best kept secret. Thanks to the commitment and hard work of pupils, parents, and staff we have seen a phenomenal turnaround at East Point Academy.

"Children in our town are just as able as any across the country, and our community is just as strong and determined too.

"Right the way through the school, and with the support of our partners at local primaries and in Lowestoft Rising, there is the spirit to keep on improving and this Ofsted report is a well deserved recognition of that."