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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

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IES Breckland responds

IES Breckland were not available for interview regarding Mick Smith's criticism, but referred ITV News to a previous statement by the Principal Alison Tilbrook regarding Ofsted's decision to place the school in special measures.

"We are of course dissatisfied with our performance in the recent Ofsted inspection but accept the team’s conclusions and we are already taking steps to address many of the issues identified in the report.

"This inspection came in the middle of a process of change at IES Breckland, following our own assessment of the school at the start of the academic year, and we have already taken steps to strengthen the leadership and teaching staff. A new full-time Principal has taken up post and a number of new staff at all levels have either recently started or are due to do so shortly.

"While there is still a long way to go, the report recognises that 'IES has acted promptly to appoint a new Principal and other managers' and that 'school leaders have begun to tackle some of the weaknesses identified by inspectors'.

"The changes we have made are showing improvement and we know that the school is moving in the right direction. The teachers and staff at IES Breckland are committed to providing a higher quality of education to students and will continue to work to improve standards at IES Breckland.

"We look forward to future Ofsted monitoring visits and inspections showing the direction in which we are moving."

– Alison Tilbrook, IES Breckland Principal

Read more: Father's anger at flagship Suffolk school

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.

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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

Click here for details of the Ofsted report on IES Breckland School

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