Academy in Lowestoft receives Ofsted praise for 'effective action'

Ormiston Denes Academy in Lowestoft.

Ormiston Denes Academy in Lowestoft. - Credit: Ormiston Denes Academy

Inspectors have praised leaders at a Lowestoft high school who have "continued their drive to make the school better for pupils".

After being judged ‘inadequate’ in its previous Ofsted report, Ormiston Denes Academy was subject to another Ofsted monitoring inspection, which was carried out in June.

It follows a full Ofsted inspection in June 2019 where the academy, on Yarmouth Road, was ranked inadequate in three out of the five areas.

The latest inspection said leaders and teachers had made significant improvements, including in the curriculum, in PSHE and for pupils who have special needs.

Inspectors also highlighted the important role that Ormiston Academies Trust, which sponsors the academy, is playing in the academy’s progress.

In a report to interim principal Jim Nixon, from Ofsted inspector Damian Loneragan, following the visit with three other inspectors to the academy on June 22/23, it said it was "the second monitoring inspection" since the school was judged to have "serious weaknesses" following the inspection in June 2019.

It added: "This was the first routine inspection the school received since the coronavirus pandemic began.

"We discussed the impact of the pandemic with you and have taken that into account.

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"Having considered the evidence, I am of the opinion that at this time: Leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of the serious weaknesses designation."

The report praised students’ conduct, while students, staff and parents all remarked to inspectors that behaviour had improved.

Kate Williams has been appointed as the new principal of Ormiston Denes Academy in Lowestoft.

Kate Williams, the new principal of Ormiston Denes Academy in Lowestoft, having started her new role in September. - Credit: Ormiston Academies Trust

With a new headteacher taking up the post of principal this month, Kate Williams has joined after several years as an experienced senior leader at other OAT schools.

Mrs Williams said: “Ormiston Denes Academy is very proud of the work that staff and students have put in to achieve this outcome.

"This positive Ofsted report is the result of a real team effort, with everyone – students, staff and parents – playing their part and that is what we are seeing at Denes. 

“Since starting this term, I have already seen the excellent foundations that have been put in place and I’m looking forward to continuing to support the upward trajectory of the academy this year and beyond.  

“Everyone is pleased to be back in the classroom and have certainly hit the ground running: I know we’ve got a great year ahead.”