City Academy Norwich is improving - but more work is needed, inspection finds

City Academy Norwich principal Mary Sparrow. Picture: Steve Adams

City Academy Norwich principal Mary Sparrow. Picture: Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

A troubled Norwich academy is taking positive steps, inspectors say, but needs to do more to improve.

City Academy in Norwich. Picture: Simon Finlay

City Academy in Norwich. Picture: Simon Finlay - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

City Academy Norwich has been told it requires improvement by Ofsted, the same rating it received in its previous inspection in 2015.

After a two-day inspection in April, the school, run by the Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN) Group, was told that progress made by pupils in most subjects was improving, with 'pupils on course to do better than in the past'.

Inspectors praised the leadership of principal Mary Sparrow, who took over the role in January 2015.

The report said: 'The principal and her team are passionate about improving all aspects of the school so that pupils receive the best education… As a result, the current pupils are making better progress across a range of subjects and the school is calmer and more orderly than in the past.'

But they said inconsistency in the quality of teaching remained, as a large number of new staff and leaders found their feet.

Governors, inspectors noted, have a 'much-improved and more accurate view of the school', replacing a previously-held 'over-generous' view of school performance.

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Though most pupils are 'polite and courteous', Ofsted said a 'small number of pupils disrupt the learning of others'.

'Last year, school leaders and governors took a decisive approach to improving behaviour that was poor,' inspectors said. 'Consequently, the number of exclusions was high. The rate of permanent exclusions in the first part of this academic year mirrored last year's numbers but the picture over the last term has been more positive, with hardly any exclusions.'

Mary Sparrow, principal, said her focus was to move towards a good Ofsted rating.

'We have worked hard on the fundamentals, setting high expectations for students, improving teaching and learning, addressing behaviour and attendance, and providing a safe and supportive learning environment in which all of our students can succeed,' she said.

The academy, previously Earlham High School, has recorded some of the worst GCSE results in the country. In 2016, 38pc of pupils achieved A* to Cs in their English and maths exams.

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