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IES Breckland: Country’s only school run by for-profit company comes out of special measures



The only free school in England run by a for-profit company has come out of special measures after almost two years.

IES Breckland in Brandon, Suffolk, has been told by Ofsted that it no longer requires the intensive monitoring of the special measures category and simply “requires improvement”.

Following a visit earlier this month, inspectors said the quality of its teaching, learning and assessment, the personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils and outcomes for learners still required improvement, but that leadership and management was good.

It comes after Schools Week reported that the school’s educational service provider IES International English Schools UK Ltd had cut its operating loss by almost 80 per cent in a single year.

The firm’s accounts show its operating loss of £271,041 in the year to June 30 last year was cut to £54,773 this year.

The company’s turnover increased from £77,650 to £103,212 during the same period and, following revelations in Schools Week that debts of £307,369 owed to Swedish parent company IES Sverige AB were written off last year, only £76,725 of debt was written off in the latest financial year.

In its latest inspection report, Ofsted said principal Alison Tilbrook and her “effective” leadership team had overseen a period of “enormous improvement” at the school.

The school, its sponsor the SABRES Educational Trust and the IES company were also praised for their “productive partnership”.



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  1. Janet Downs

    Ofsted said the low GCSE results at IES* ‘must be considered against pupils’ low starting points and the turbulent period that the school has been through in the past two years’.
    I hope Nicky Morgan will bear this in mind when damning other schools as ‘coasting’. Somehow I doubt it – the Government’s ‘no excuses’ mantra will likely be evoked.
    Except for free schools, it appears. The low results at two free schools in Beccles and Saxmundham run by Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust have been similarly excused.

    *Provisional results for 2015 – 37% reached the benchmark 5 GCSEs C or above (or equivalent) including maths and English.