‘Urgent’ action needed on teaching, behaviour and management at ‘inadequate’ school

Wayland Junior Academy in Watton. Picture: TEN Group

Wayland Junior Academy in Watton. Picture: TEN Group - Credit: Archant

The new leader of a school ranked inadequate after a slide in standards has pledged to bring about change.

Izzy Mair, principal of Wayland Junior Academy in Watton. Picture: Norfolk Academies

Izzy Mair, principal of Wayland Junior Academy in Watton. Picture: Norfolk Academies - Credit: Norfolk Academies

Ofsted said Wayland Junior Academy "urgently" needed to address problems in governance, management, teaching and pupil behaviour after handing it the inspectorate's lowest judgement.

However, the Watton school's newly-confirmed principal has reassured parents a turnaround is under way - and inspectors concurred, saying she had "quickly implemented much-needed systems to support school improvement".

The school, overseen by Norfolk Academies, is also appointing a school improvement specialist and an interim executive board to support the new principal to make "the necessary rapid improvements and progress".

Following their visit to the academy in July, Ofsted inspectors said instability in leadership had compounded a decline in standards and weaknesses in teaching.

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They recommended external reviews of governance and the use of pupil premium funding - a top-up for the most disadvantaged children - and that the school should not employ any newly qualified teachers.

The inspection report said pupils' progress across the school was "extremely poor" and that teaching and assessment were especially weak in English and maths, with 60pc of pupils failing to meet all the expected standards at the end of key stage two in 2018.

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However, the school said a concerted push to improve maths teaching in recent months had borne fruit in its latest SATs results.

While pupils' attendance is often above average, inspectors said there were "too many instances of low level disruption" which meant classrooms were, at times, disorderly.

Principal Izzy Mair, who came in as interim leader in January, said the school's improvement journey was in the early stages but that progress was being made.

"All of us at Wayland Junior Academy are completely committed to continuing the improvements that are already under way, and to doing the very best for our pupils," she said.

"We are working incredibly hard - with our parents, our pupils, our improvement partners and the wider community - to keep building on the positive changes that we've introduced this year."

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