Ormiston Victory Academy
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Ormiston Victory Academy (formerly Costessey High School) is a secondary school and sixth form with academy status located in Costessey, Norfolk, England. The school has specialisms in Science and Applied Learning.
The school serves the areas of Easton, Marlingford, East Tuddenham, Bawburgh and the neighbouring suburb of Bowthorpe, as well as Costessey. The school offers GCSEs as programmes of study, which can be used to obtain the English Baccalaureate. Sixth form students have the option to study a range of A Levels.
Costessey High School was renamed Ormiston Victory Academy in September 2010. The academy opened using the existing buildings and is sponsored by the Ormiston Academies Trust, a charity which supports children, young people and families in their community. The Academy's strategic partners are Norfolk County Council and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. A new complex designed by Nicholas Hare Architects has been built replacing the old school buildings, and can now cater for 1250 pupils. The academy received a £15 million to revamp the old site. The new school buildings opened in November 2013.
In August 2014 The Observer newspaper alleged that the school was given two weeks' advance warning of a May 2013 inspection by Ofsted, the government body responsible for inspecting and regulating schools. In England and Wales schools should not be informed of an inspection before noon on the day prior to the inspection. The newspaper cited whistleblowers who claimed that the advance notice enabled the school to "parachute" in extra teaching staff who had never taught at the school prior to the inspection, "to put in place high-quality lesson planning, get on top of marking and create "evidence files" presenting the day-to-day running of the school in as positive light as possible," and "to mitigate for known staff absence" by providing a supply teacher with "comprehensive lesson plan materials in an "Ofsted-friendly" format... including detailed information on each pupil's progress, especially for the inspection, before the school was notified officially by Ofsted of the visit."
Ormiston Academies Trust denied that the school "received prior notification not allowed under Ofsted rules." Ofsted initially stated that the school did not receive an early warning and that it "had not received any complaints about any of the inspections" but later admitted that it had received an official complaint from one parent in May 2013. The complainant said that his daughter, a pupil at the school, had been told by a teacher that an inspection would be taking place a week later. A teacher who had worked at the school during the May inspection also claimed that "senior staff knew the exact inspection dates the previous week."
Ofsted subsequently announced: "Ofsted regional director Sir Robin Bosher is reviewing the circumstances of specific inspections in Norfolk and the wider handling of the sharing of information about inspection schedules. He will report back shortly." Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills, said: "If any evidence comes to light that proves anyone within Ofsted or our contractors has shared information inappropriately, I will have no hesitation in taking the strongest possible action."
Notable former pupils
Costessey High School
- George, Martin (8 June 2013). "Outstanding Ofsted judgement confirms transformation of school previously in special measures". Norwich Evening News (Norwich). Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Downes, Steve (6 January 2011). "£15m boost for Ormiston Victory Academy, Costessey". Norwich Evening News (Norwich). Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Leggett, Victoria (29 April 2013). "Costessey’s Victory Academy appoints new principal from Gorleston school". Eastern Daily Press. Norwich. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Mansell, Warwick; Boffey, Daniel (17 August 2014). "Academies run by 'superhead' received advance notice of Ofsted checks". The Observer (London). Retrieved 12 September 2014.
- George, Martin (7 September 2014). "Parent complained last year about alleged Ofsted inspection date tip off for Norwich academy". Eastern Daily Press (Norwich). Retrieved 12 September 2014.
- "Ofsted chief inspector announces review of inspections of three Norfolk academies". Eastern Daily Press (Norwich). 19 August 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
- Mansell, Warwick; Goddard, Louis (9 September 2014). "Ofsted admits complaint about school's prior knowledge of inspection". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 12 September 2014.
- Fox, Nikki (12 September 2014). "Father warned Ofsted of 'tip-off' a year before inquiry". BBC News. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
- Walsh, Peter (20 November 2010). "Former Costessey pupil lands major Manchester United film role". Norwich Evening News (Norwich). Retrieved 8 June 2013.
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