A VILLAGE junior school in Barton has been told it must improve by education standards watchdogs.
Thomas Russell Junior School, in Gilmour Lane, Barton under Needwood, was said to ‘require improvement’ by Ofsted following a two-day inspection — the same it received in its previous inspection in 2010.
According to the inspectors’ rankings, schools are deemed to be ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requiring improvement’ (formerly satisfactory) or ‘inadequate’.
Two inspectors, who visited the school on October 17 and 18, found it was ‘good’ in terms of pupils’ behaviour and safety but ‘required improvement’ in achievement, teaching quality and leadership and management.
A report on their findings said that the school was branded as ‘requiring improvement’ because the teachers were helping pupils to catch up, but the progress of some writing had been too slow in the past.
It said some boys had not achieved as well in writing as they do in reading and mathematics and improvements to teaching had not always improved pupils’ learning quickly enough.
The report also highlighted that lesson activities were not always challenging enough, staff absence had resulted in improvement being driven by the head teacher until recently, and leaders of special educational needs and English and maths did not always check robustly enough the impact improvements were making on progress.
Inspectors said that the governing body had not had all of the required information about pupils’ progress until recently to inform improvement planning.
The report highlighted strengths including the head teacher’s and governors’ drive had improved teaching, the pupils positive attitudes and good behaviour had made a strong contribution to learning. It also said that teaching in some areas was consistently good and the school ensured that parents had access to a wide range of information about the school’s work and their children’s progress.
The report gave ways the school could improve, including accelerating learning and progress in writing, increasing the proportion of good and outstanding teaching and developing leadership and management.
Head teacher Shelley Sharpe said: “The school leadership team and governors have a clear focus on the areas identified for improvement and will sustain the drive for progress and achievement.
“The school has improved substantially since 2010.
“All staff and governors are totally committed to raising standards further at the school and are working incredibly hard to help every child achieve the best results possible.
“I am confident we have laid excellent foundations on which to build.”