Govt flagship Free School branded 'inadequate' by Ofsted

A school in Suffolk at the heart of the government's flagship Free School programme has been placed in special measures. A report from the education watchdog Ofsted says the IES Breckland school at Brandon is 'inadequate'.

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"Much more work is needed but improvements have begun": Ofsted on IES Breckland

Ofsted have published their first monitoring inspection on IES Breckland since it was placed in special measures.

The Suffolk free school, which is the UK's first for profit state school, was rated inadequate by Ofsted in March.

Today the watchdog said there were still areas of teaching 'in need of urgent intervention' but that overall the school's improvement plan is 'fit for purpose.'

You can read Ofsted's full report here.

The school's principal, Alison Tilbrook, issued the following statement:**

Improvement is taking place every day, but it is an ongoing process and there is still a long way to go. One positive monitoring inspection is a good start, but everyone at the school must continue to work hard to ensure the positive steps that we have taken so far are just the beginning. I recognise the issues that are mentioned within the report and we will continue to work on overcoming them.

– Alison Tilbrook, Principal IES Breckland

MP reaction to IES Breckland Ofsted report

Tristram Hunt MP and Labour's Shadow Education Secretary has responded to the publication of the Ofsted inspection into IES Breckland Free School.

This is more evidence of the damage David cameron's Free School policy is doing to school standards. The lack of local oversight and a policy that allows unqualified teachers into classrooms on a permanent basis is the wrong approach."

– Tristram Hunt MP, Shadow Education Secretary


IES Operating Manager responds to damning Ofsted

IES Breckland is the first school run for profit in Britain. IES - which stands for International English Schools - is a Swedish company which runs a chain of for profit schools in Sweden.

In 2012 the company won a ten year contract from the government to run a free school in Brandon.

This contract will pay the school a maximum of £21million.

The Operating Manager of IES Sweden, Peter John Files, took questions from ITV News Anglia earlier this week about what mistakes the company had made, and whether IES owed parents an apology for such a damning Ofsted report.

School working hard to get out of special measures

IES Breckland's new principal, Alison Tilbrook, has said that she is working to get the school out of special measures as soon as possible.

Earlier this week ITV News Anglia put Ofsted's criticisms to her, including their finding that some children's learning in English had declined since starting at the school.

ITV News Anglia's reporter Elodie Harper also asked whether the UK's first for profit school had yet made any money.

Minister defends free school programme

Matthew Hancock, MP for West Suffolk and Skills Minister is defending the free school programme in light of IES Breckland being branded inadequate.

Ofsted’s report will say teaching at the school in Brandon is inadequate but Mr Hancock says the school is already taking action.

He’s also defended the free school programme saying overall results are better than in maintained schools.

Click below to watch Jonathan Wills interviewing Matthew Hancock MP


Excellent flagship school rated inadequate by Ofsted

A flagship free school in Suffolk has been branded inadequate by the education watchdog, Ofsted and put into special measures.

ITV News Anglia has learned that IES Breckland, the high school at Brandon, was praised just a few months ago by the Department for Education.

But an inspection by Ofsted in January which will be published later this week takes a very different view. It says the teaching was inadequate, students were not making progress and some lessons were disrupted by bad behaviour.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Education Correspondent Elodie Harper

UK's first for profit school 'inadequate'

Britain's first for profit school has been placed in special measures by Ofsted.

I has been judged inadequate. The Suffolk school was inspected in January.

A report which is due to be published on Thursday by OFSTED will say the IES Breckland in Brandon school is inadequate. The Suffolk Free School has been open for 15 months and replaced Breckland Middle School.

The headteacher says the school is already taking action to improve. If you are a parent we'd like to hear from you, email us at or contact us via Facebook or Twitter.

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