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Praise for turnaround at former failing school

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 16, 2014

By Rich Guttridge

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A PRIMARY school is hoping to put a turbulent couple of years behind it after being praised following its latest inspection.

John of Rolleston Primary School was rated as ‘good’ by Oftsed two years after plunging into ‘special measures’ amid criticisms of teaching and pupil performance.

Head teacher Ian Bateman said hard work and togetherness had helped the school to come back from the blow of being labelled ‘inadequate’.

Mr Bateman was critical of the decision to give the Rolleston school the lowest possible rating in 2012, feeling the call was overly harsh.

But he has remained at the helm, overseeing a marked improvement.

He said: “We’re delighted with the progress that has been made. The report highlights very good leadership, says we have improved rapidly since the last inspection and praises the behaviour of pupils.

“We knew we were better than that (inadequate) and we have worked together.

“The good with about John of Rolleston is the teamwork. Staff have worked really hard to get us heading in the right direction and parents have supported us too.”

Mr Bateman said his next goal was to complete the turnaround by taking the school to ‘outstanding’ status.

But, according to Oftsed, there remains work to do.

The inspectorate has told bosses that if the school is to achieve its dream of ‘outstanding’ then teaching must still improve further.

The school has also been instructed to improve the way it communicates with parents, an issue Ofsted said had led to “some discontent”.

Mr Bateman said: “We have got to where we are now with a lot of hard work. The ultimate aim is to be outstanding. That’s where we are heading and that is the next aim.”

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