15:56 Friday 18 October 2013

Special measures school is improving, Ofsted say

Written byMARK MCKAY

A JUNIOR school which had been described as ‘weak’ in learning, teaching and leadership has made some improvements, education inspectors have revealed.

Inspectors from Ofsted, the government’s education watchdog, visited Springfield Junior School (right), Swadlincote, for its third monitoring report since it was judged to require special measures in January.

Ofsted inspector John Peckham said the school is making ‘reasonable progress’ towards the removal of special measures status following his visit on October 2 and 3.

In a letter to the school’s head teacher, which has just been published, he said ‘staffing turbulences’ have had a ‘significant impact on the progress of pupils’ with many pupils having low literacy standards.

Three teachers and the chairman of the school’s governors left at the end of the summer term, Mr Peckam said.

He said: “There are signs this year, however, that a fully staffed school and actions taken by school leaders are beginning to show some impact.”

National curriculum results for Key Stage 2 pupils showed ‘little improvement’ but more pupils reached the top level in writing and a ‘significantly higher’ proportion of pupils reached the expected standard in reading, Mr Peckham said.

The level of teaching Mr Peckham observed also ‘showed some improvements’ from his previous visit.

The school’s leadership and management had started the year with ‘greater clarity of direction’ which ‘is a substantial improvement and is already showing impact’, Mr Peckham said.

The pupils have ‘very positive attitudes’ and the level of behaviour ‘mostly excellent’, Mr Peckham added.

He said: “This is because it is well managed by teachers and because most are now correctly applying the school’s behaviour policies.”

Sue Hughes, the school’s head teacher told the Mail: “We are really pleased with the report.

It says we are going in the right direction and there are lots of positives.

“We know we still have to work on writing but we are determined to move forward. We started in September with a great team effort from everybody including the parents and children.”

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