Dramatic turnaround of once troubled school hailed by inspectors

Acle Academy has been rated Good in its latest Ofsted inspection

Pupils at Acle Academy celebrating their school's Ofsted report with principal Helen Watts, assistant principal Camilla Skarin and director of progress Joe Sayce - Credit: Steve Wright Photography

A previously troubled school is celebrating after its dramatic turnaround was hailed by inspectors.

Acle Academy was placed into special measures by regulator Ofsted in 2015 and three years later was told it still needed to make urgent improvements.

Four years later and the school has been rewarded for its efforts with the second-highest rating available, being rated as 'good' by inspectors.

The school earned particularly high praise for its approach to children with special educational needs and disabilities, with inspectors also stating pupils develop "rich knowledge" thanks to "effective teaching".

It comes after the Wensum Trust, which runs the school, invested more than £1m in improving facilities at the school - replacing its roofs, windows and heating, upgrading its electrics and updating its ICT facilities.

Acle Academy principal Helen Watts. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Helen Watts, principal of Acle Academy, which has been rated 'good' by Ofsted - Credit: Archant

Helen Watts, principal at Acle Academy, said: "We are delighted that Ofsted recognised what we have known for some time - that we are a good school.

"Acle Academy has undergone a significant transformational journey. There were no quick fixes - the journey rested on building strong foundations to ensure the future success of the school.

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"I am proud and honoured to have been part of that journey.

"The validation of our hard work means a great deal to the staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure that young people in our care receive the best possible educational provision."

Daniel Thrower, chief executive of the Wensum Trust in Norwich. Picture: Wensum Trust

Daniel Thrower, chief executive of the Wensum Trust in Norwich. Picture: Wensum Trust - Credit: Wensum Trust

Daniel Thrower, chief executive of the Wensum Trust, added: "I am delighted with this news. After support and significant investment, what Helen and the whole staff team has achieved is transformational - the school has gone from strength to strength.

"Acle Academy reflects the vision of the trust and resonates well with parents and carers who are looking for exactly what our schools are offering. I look forward to it moving on to greater things."

Praising the school's turnaround, inspectors wrote: "Pupils benefit from the high ambition leaders have for their education. They develop a rich knowledge because they receive effective teaching.

"Leaders have planned the curriculum well and want all pupils to have the literacy skills they need to succeed in life.

"Staff are united with leaders in their drive to improve the school."