Exam results, Politics

Country’s first for-profit free school just about meets floor target in first GCSE results

The country’s first for-profit free school has just about met the government’s floor standard for GCSEs in its first set of results since opening.

IES Breckland school, in Suffolk, saw 40 per cent of its pupils achieve five or more A* to C grades, including English and Maths.

It was judged by Ofsted as inadequate in January last year, but is still in special measures despite three Section 8 inspection visits.

A letter on the school’s website, from principal Alison Tilbrook, read: “Although this seems to be low our students have achieved above expectations and the school has added considerable value to their outcomes, despite numerous challenges encountered.”

Schools Week reported earlier this year that the free school had gone into the black for the first time, but only because of a six figure cash injection from the Swedish firm that controls it.

IES International English Schools UK Limited, which has a ten-year contract to run the school, pumped £307,000 into the school.

School letter in full


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  1. Important to always focus on the primary goals of schools. This is to educate pupils. Without reading Ofsted report on the school, it isn’t totally clear what the school is being failed for. Being under constant Ofsted watch can be quite challenging and a stressful environment to educate or be educated in.
    An ideal final expectation is that if at the end of the 10 year contract period and situation has not improved for all their pupils, for profit free schools should seriously evaluated.