1. ITV Report

Teaching 'inadequate' at flagship Free School in Suffolk

The IES Breckland School in Brandon has been placed on special measures by Ofsted Photo: ITV News Anglia / Gary Mabee

A school in Suffolk at the heart of the government's flagship free school programme has been placed in special measures.

A report due to be published on Thursday by education watchdog Ofsted will say the IES Breckland school at Brandon is inadequate.

It's been open for 15 months. The headteacher says the school is already taking action to improve.

ITV News Anglia has learned, the school was praised by the Department for Education just a few months ago.

The Ofsted reports says too many students fail to make sufficient progress Credit: ITV News Anglia / Gary Mabee

Summary of weaknesses identified by Ofsted:

  • Too many students fail to make sufficient progress and they do not attain the standards of which they are capable
  • Teaching is inadequate. It does not expect enough of the students
  • Too many students have experienced frequent changes of teachers
  • Behaviour is inadequate and disrupts some lessons
  • The school's own evaluation of the quality of teaching and student achievement is inaccurate
  • Governors have not ensured the school meets requirements to keep children safe

The school's principal Alison Tilbrook said the school is making changes which will have a positive effect on all. She added there was on-going staff recruitment.

"The task given to me as principal, which I have been glad to take, is to turn around the fortunes of this school, to support staff to improve, and to make beneficial recruitment decisions. This is a challenge for all involved, but one which we are equal to. The atmosphere in the school is fantastic and there is a real determination to succeed from staff and students."

– Alison Tilbrook, principal IES Breckland

The Ofsted report did find some strengths at the school including that standards in maths were generally high, there was some outstanding teaching and the quality of provision for students' spiritual and cultural education was good.

The school has been supported by the Conservative MP for West Suffolk Matthew Hancock who is also the Skills Minister. He said there wouldn't be a secondary school in Brandon if it hadn't been for the government's free school programme.

He said: "It's vital that a turnaround plan is put in place. Actions have already been taken by the school but of course there's much more to do."