A Suffolk school warned its funding agreement may be cancelled is making progress but "more work is necessary" to change its rating. 

Stowmarket High School has been issued with a report following an Ofsted monitoring inspection, which took place after the school was rated 'Requires Improvement' in two successive graded inspections.

The monitoring inspection, on March 27, concluded that senior leaders have made "progress to improve the school", but that "more work is necessary for the school to become good".

The report follows the termination warning notice that was issued this year following the Ofsted report last January, 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 notice from the Department for Education stated that the funding agreement with the school's trust may be stopped unless action is taken, and the school may be transferred to another trust.

The previous Ofsted report found that teachers had not grasped the best way to teach pupils, that SEND pupils were not always well-supported, too many pupils were persistently absent, and behaviour processes were not being implemented consistently.

The new report, published on Monday (April 29), hinted at an improvement in behaviour, with a decrease in the number of suspensions and truancy rates, a shortened time between lessons, no loitering, and the environment “calm and purposeful”.

East Anglian Daily Times: Ms Lucie Hernandez, new headteacher at the school.Ms Lucie Hernandez, new headteacher at the school. (Image: Stowmarket High School)

Pupils said “lessons are more fun and interesting”, with access to greater options in the curriculum and consistency in teaching assessment.

The report noted how pupils are learning effectively, and they have noticed a difference in behaviour policy and they “feel more settled”, and thus attendance is improving.

However, provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is a “work in progress”, with staff receiving ongoing training, but more awareness is needed for reasonable adjustments.

The report overall found that the change in leadership has “driven forward quicker change”, and the new senior leadership team is “approachable and well liked”.

Ms Lucie Hernandez was announced as the new headteacher at the school in March, after acting as interim headteacher.

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

Dave Lee-Allan had left the position after eight years in September, stepping down a few days before the start of the current academic year.

Craig Morrison, chief executive of the Kingfisher Schools Trust, said the report was “very positive”.

In his letter to parents at the school, Mr Morrison said: “This is a very positive endorsement of the hard work going on in the school to make improvements, led by Ms Hernandez and her team. I would like to thank them for all of the hard work that they are putting in.

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)

“We are also very aware of the improvements still needed and are committed to making Stowmarket High a strong and secure school in your eyes and in the judgement of Ofsted.

“I was particularly pleased to read in the report that the inspector felt that ‘the school environment is calm and purposeful’ and that ‘leaders and staff are highly visible’.

"As well as acknowledging that ‘in most lessons, pupils learn effectively’, the inspector writes that ‘pupils are enjoying their time at school more’.

“Whilst encouraged by this report, please be assured that the trust, the improvement board and leaders at the school will continue to focus on changing the school for the better.”