A Suffolk school with a 'Requires Improvement' Ofsted rating has been warned it may have its funding agreement cancelled if improvements are not made.

Stowmarket High School has been the subject of a termination warning notice, which states that the funding agreement with the school's trust may be stopped unless action is taken.

If improvements are not made, the school may be transferred to another trust.

The notice was issued by the Department for Education after improvements were not made following the Ofsted report in January 2023, which gave the school a 'Requires Improvement' rating.

East Anglian Daily Times: The school received a 'Requires Improvement' Ofsted rating in January last year.The school received a 'Requires Improvement' Ofsted rating in January last year. (Image: Archant)

The report found that teachers had not grasped the best way to teach pupils a new curriculum or check what they had learnt, that pupils with SEND needs were not always well-supported, too many pupils were persistently absent, and behaviour processes were not being implemented consistently.

Read more: Why are Suffolk children not going to school?

The termination warning notice was issued to the Waveney Valley Academies Trust, now known as Kingfisher Schools Trust, which runs the school, outlining steps that must be taken.

These include a partnership with a school improvement partner, providing a school improvement plan to address these issues, as well as termly updates, the first due by March 28.

If the trust fails to meet these by their deadlines, funding may be terminated to transfer the academy to a different trust.

The school is under the leadership of interim headteacher Lucie Hernandez after Dave Lee-Allan left the position after eight years, stepping down a few days before the start of the new academic year in September.

East Anglian Daily Times: Dave Lee-Allen, former head at Stowmarket High School.Dave Lee-Allen, former head at Stowmarket High School. (Image: Archant)

The school no longer has a sixth form, after making a decision to "suspend" the facility in 2021 due to declining student numbers.

Craig Morrison, chief executive of the Kingfisher Schools Trust, which was known as Waveney Valley Academies Trust until January 1, said the trust was "disappointed" to receive the letter.

Mr Morrison said: "Whilst we are disappointed to receive this, it’s important to clarify that this notice is linked to the outcome of the last Ofsted inspection, in January last year.

East Anglian Daily Times: The trust says it is 'confident that the school will continue to improve'.The trust says it is 'confident that the school will continue to improve'. (Image: Archant)

"Since then there has been a huge amount of change both within the school and the academy trust and many improvements.

"We do acknowledge that there is important work to do. Our team are committed to making Stowmarket High an excellent school for the local community and are working very hard to achieve this.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ms Lucie Hernandez, interim headteacher.Ms Lucie Hernandez, interim headteacher. (Image: Stowmarket High School)

"We are working closely with the DFE at all stages and I am pleased that they recognise some of the significant changes we have made since the inspection a year ago, in this letter.

"We are confident that the school will continue to improve. We appointed a school improvement board at the start of the year who are helping us to ensure our plans and actions make a positive impact."

The trust added that Lucie Hernandez joined from the successful Barnhill School in Middlesex, supported by a school improvement board chaired by Susan Byles, formerly regional director for Academy Transformation Trust and education consultant.