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'Inadequate' school is getting better

Wayland Academy Norfolk. Picture: TEN Group

Wayland Academy Norfolk. Picture: TEN Group

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A Norfolk academy which was deemed inadequate last year has been told it is continuing to take "effective action" towards the removal of special measures.

Wayland Academy principal Glen AllottWayland Academy principal Glen Allott

Wayland Academy, in Watton, was told it was inadequate last April, after inspectors raised concerns over bullying, homophobic language and attendance.

Inspectors said a significant number of pupils shared concerns about bullying and “casual use” of unacceptable language, including “homophobic abuse, which they say they hear regularly”.

Inspectors also said leaders did not ensure pupils fully understood risks posed by those with “extremist values, beliefs or views”.

During a second follow up inspection in April, inspectors noted the school’s records show that incidents of bullying, including the use of homophobic and derogatory language, have reduced significantly.

The report said: “Pupils who met with inspectors confirmed that they feel free from bullying and are kept safe in school.

“They are confident that if they raised concerns, staff would follow them up.”

The school, part of Norfolk Academies, was also praised for its rising attendances following persistently low rates which were higher than the national average.

“A wide range of actions to encourage pupils back into the school, and challenge the families of those who are regularly absent are leading to improvement,” the report said.

Academy principal Glen Allott said: “Our academy has made great strides forward over the last year.

“We have a clear plan in place that has resulted in sustained improvements in pupils’ attendance, the quality of teaching and learning, pupils’ presentation of their work, how we approach behaviour and safeguarding, learning outcomes, and how we monitor to further improve.

“I’d particularly like to thank our parents for their support, as significantly improved attendance, with pupils coming to the academy ready to learn, has played a huge part in the improved learning outcomes that we are now seeing.”

Gee Cook, chief executive of Norfolk Academies, added: “I am looking forward to their next visit in the autumn term, when we will be able to demonstrate even greater impact.”

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