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‘Weak’ school falls into special measures

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

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A JUNIOR school has been placed in special measures by education watchdogs to address its ‘weakness’ in learning, teaching and leadership.

An action plan has been put in place to improve standards at Springfield Junior School, in Springfield Road, Swadlincote, after the Ofsted report was released yesterday.

Sue Hughes, head teacher, said: “We are obviously very disappointed that we have been placed in special measures.

“Although we have experienced significant disruption to staffing we now have a strong team in place and I’m confident we can address the issues highlighted in the report.

“We are now looking ahead and putting pupils and learning at the heart of our future plans.”

Two inspectors visited the school in November and found strengths including several examples of good teaching. They also noted that the head teacher has the respect of pupils, parents and staff, there are improvements in pupil attendance, and pupils with autism spectrum disorders are well supported and make good progress.

But they placed the school in special measures to address weaknesses in learning, teaching and leadership.

The school has been told it needs to improve the quality of teaching so that all pupils make rapid progress. It also needs to have higher expectations of pupils’ presentation, punctuation and spelling. Inspectors also said the quality and impact of leadership including the governing body should be improved and rigorous checks on teaching need to be put in place to identify the causes of underachievement.

Joan Lane, chair of governors, said: “We now have a clear understanding of what we need to improve and we are focused on making those changes.

“We’ve looked closely at the points raised and we are committed to doing everything necessary to implement the inspectors’ recommendations and start driving up standards.”

Councillor Mike Longden, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “When a school is placed in special measures it is always a time of concern for parents.

“But our education advisors will continue to work closely with the school’s headteacher and governors to ensure that everything possible is done to drive up standards.”

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