Saxmundham Free School Wins Praise In First Ofsted Inspection
Students, staff and governors at Saxmundham Free School will be celebrating the good news in the report which follows an inspection on May 21 and 22.
The report grades the school as a ‘good school’ for overall effectiveness as well as being good for the achievement of pupils and the quality of teaching.
It received an ‘outstanding’ grade for both the behaviour and safety of pupils and for the quality of its leadership and management.
The report said: “The behaviour of students is outstanding. Leaders have set clear expectations and have reinforced these consistently; they have also worked carefully with students who find it difficult to manage their own behaviour. As a result, excellent conduct is the norm.”
It is also reported that: “Students who spoke with inspectors were keen to talk about their progress, and their enjoyment of the many opportunities the school offers them, such as drama productions and sporting activities. They appreciate the ability to contribute to the development of the school by serving as prefects or as student ambassadors.”
On the leadership of the school the inspectors gave praise saying: “The headteacher and other senior leaders demonstrate a relentless drive to accelerate the progress and improve the achievement of each and every student at the school. They are determined to remove any barrier that might prevent any student from reaching their full potential, and to encourage all to aspire to excellence. Other members of staff share this drive and determination.”
Other comments from the report included:
“Outstanding leadership has resulted in the creation of a highly cohesive school community. The school’s leaders communicate a sense of ambition that is reinforced and shared by all.”
“Students are being well-prepared for the next stage in their education and for later life. Many who have struggled to achieve highly in their previous schools are making rapid progress.”
“Students are exceptionally polite, courteous and welcoming. Students wear their uniform with pride and treat the school buildings, and all those who work within them, with respect at all times. The school site is exceptionally clean and tidy.”
“Students from all backgrounds socialise well together during break and lunch periods. All have lunch with their teachers in the restaurant and several said that this helps make the school community feel like ‘a big family’.”
David Lees, headteacher at Saxmundham Free School said: “The very positive comments from the Ofsted inspectors are a compliment to all our students, staff and governors for the hard work which everyone has put into this school in less than two years from opening its doors. We will all be celebrating this result today which clearly shows the strong progress our students are making and how well prepared they are for the next stage of education and for later life. The next challenge is to not only maintain these high standards but to build on them so we can make it an outstanding school in the future.”
Dr Robert Cawley, principal of the Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust said: “This very positive report for Saxmundham Free School follows an equally positive report published for Beccles Free School just two weeks ago. Both schools opened amidst strong opposition and it is a credit to all those involved who have worked hard to demonstrate the excellent role these schools can play in the local education sector. The reports are also a credit to the trustees of the Seckford Foundation who backed the setting up of both schools and the opening of a third school in Ixworth in September.”