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South Witham Academy makes 'significant progress' says Ofsted after being placed in 'special measures'

A school placed in special measures due to “inadequate leadership, teaching and governance” says it is making “significant progress”.

Ofsted inspectors agree “many changes” have been made at South Witham Academy, but they say it has experienced “much turmoil” since it became an academy in 2016 and it ‘requires improvement’.

Inspectors visited the school in Water Lane last month and found pupils’ reading skills “were not good enough”, the school’s curriculum was not planned well enough, teachers have insufficient expectations of pupils and too many children were persistently absent.

South Witham Academy (22224292)
South Witham Academy (22224292)

But they also said most pupils enjoy their time at the school, they are welcoming, polite and well-mannered and in its nursery, the children get off to “a flying start”.

South Witham Academy teaches 131 children aged two to 11.

Executive headteacher Sharon Milner said the inspection recognises the school’s “significant progress” since it joined the Brooke Hill Academy Trust in 2016.

Previously, it was in special measures due to its leadership and teaching.

The school has “worked hard” to tackle these issues by implementing new leadership structures, employing new staff and working closely with the trust and sister schools in the trust like Edith Weston. But she accepted “more work needs to be done and the turnaround of South Witham Academy will take time”.

She added: “The report has given us very clear guidance on where our focus needs to be and we are already in the process of putting these into practice including, more importantly, a new curriculum.

“I believe our current team is strong and we are confident that we have the skills, commitment and the drive to be ‘good’ within the next 12 months.”

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