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Troubled Wayland Academy told it has taken ‘decisive action’ to ease Ofsted concerns over bullying and homophobia

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:21 08 November 2017

Wayland Academy Norfolk. Picture: TEN Group

Wayland Academy Norfolk. Picture: TEN Group

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A beleaguered Norfolk high school has been told it has taken “decisive action” to create a safer atmosphere in its classrooms.

Wayland Academy, in Watton, was put into special measures by Ofsted in April after inspectors raised concerns over bullying, homophobic language and poor attendance.

It prompted the regional schools commissioner to serve the school, run by the Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN) Group, with a termination warning notice, which - if issues aren’t resolved - could see its funding agreement withdrawn.

But after a follow-up inspection from the watchdog in October, inspectors said changes had been made and that safeguarding was now effective.

MORE: Academy put in special measures after concerns raised over bullying, homophobia and lack of understanding about radicalisation

They said: “Since the previous inspection, school leaders supported by the multi-academy trust have taken decisive action to strengthen safeguarding.

“They have rightly concentrated on ensuring that pupils are kept safe from bullying, that they understand the different types of abuse such as radicalisation, and that attendance improves.”

Ofsted found that pupils had been provided with a dedicated link on the website and a text number to contact if they were being bullied.

“Staff are managing cases where pupils have reported bullying much better than at the time of the last inspection,” they said.

They noted that the “use of homophobic language has reduced considerably” and attendance had improved.

MORE: Academy could face action after government termination warning notice served

Glen Allott, principal of the academy, said: “The feedback from this monitoring inspection recognises all of the hard work by our staff and the considerable progress we have made as a school in strengthening safeguarding and improving attendance since the summer term.”

He said, after the last inspection, the team “acted quickly” to put a plan in place to address concerns.

He said he was pleased to see Ofsted praise its Pupils Advising Listening and Supporting initiative, which sees trained pupils support others.

“Our job now is to continue to build on this progress, to keep improving in all areas, as we work together to make sure that all of our pupils attend, achieve and progress,” he said.

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