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Wells academy plans dropped

PUBLISHED: 14:32 30 September 2009 | UPDATED: 10:57 07 July 2010

Plans to turn Alderman Peel High School into an innovative all-age academy have been dropped - because the school was judged to have improved so much it no longer needs help.

Plans to turn Alderman Peel High School into an innovative all-age academy have been dropped - because the school was judged to have improved so much it no longer needs help.

The school, in Wells, has seen a meteoric sequence of successes in recent years, including doubling the percentage of students gaining five A-C grade GCSEs, including English and maths, since 2007.

The school gained specialist Sports College status in 2007 and in July this year it won glowing praise from Ofsted inspectors who gave it the top overall rating of “outstanding”.

Shelagh Hutson, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for children's services, said the academy programme was intended to help transform schools which struggled to make the necessary changes - support which Alderman Peel no longer needed.

“Alderman Peel is a relatively small rural school, and in the past results have been varied,” she said. “However, the hard work, dedication and commitment of its staff and students have transformed the school into a thriving and successful school that the community should be very proud of.

“We are delighted with the school's progress at improving exam results and we consider the glowing report from Ofsted to be equally as impressive.

“The county council will continue to work with the school, and support its marvellous efforts to provide high quality provision for young people of secondary age in the area.”

A report to the Norfolk children's services overview and scrutiny panel says if national funding for an all-age school became available, Alderman Peel would be reconsidered.

Headteacher Jon Platten said: “When the academy proposal was being discussed our GCSE pass rate for five A-Cs including English and maths was 23pc and now it is 46pc.

“Clearly things are going very well here. We are delighted with the progress we have made with the exam figures and the year culminated in the outstanding Ofsted.

“There is plenty going on here and my job is to focus on the 'here and now' to provide students with the best possible facilities.”

Mr Platten said his immediate priority for the future was to secure the school's re-designation as a Sports College, due within the next 18 months.

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