St James making good progress since special measures judgement

Education: Primary / Thu 5th Dec 2013 at 12:35pm

ST JAMES primary has been praised by Ofsted in its first inspection since the government watchdog put them in special measures.

The report notes that the headteacher remains absent from school but then goes onto to stress the progress that has been made.

The report states:

Since the inspection, you have taken well-focused actions to bring about improvement. These include making sure that clear expectations of minimum teaching requirements are understood by all staff and are in place in all classrooms.

Systems for monitoring the quality of teaching and learning are regular and robust, and staff are given personalised targets for improving their work.

In discussion, teachers spoken to emphasised how this is enabling them to improve more rapidly. In addition, the actions you have taken are developing professional approaches which enable staff to be critical of each other’s practice so that improvement is collaborative. The feedback you give to teachers following monitoring complies with the expectations you have agreed. It does not yet relate specifically to the impact of teaching on the required rapid improvement in learning.

In the classes visited, children were engaged in their learning and applying the outcomes of teaching with concentration. For example, in a Year 2 class, children wrote the end of a story independently making sure that they incorporated the criteria for success taught by their teacher. Classroom environments consistently reflect guidance given for expected professional standards.

Children use examples of work they have learned about together and useful resources displayed to inform their independent work well.
You have increased the extent to which pupils’ work is scrutinised and this is giving a more detailed understanding of how well teachers are implementing the new marking systems.

In discussion, pupils were clear about the support this is giving them to improve their work and make progress. In your monitoring feedback, however, you have given insufficient attention to analysing the levels pupils are working at and the gaps that remain from previously poor teaching so that these can be addressed rapidly.

Governors have provided support to ameliorate previous financial difficulties. They remain highly committed and support both the implementation of an interim executive board and the school’s move to sponsored academy status. This is
because they recognise that these are in the best interests of the children at the school and the rapid and consistent improvement required.

You and staff have benefitted from the advice of a National Leader in Education, and staff spoke clearly about the positive impact of this advice and of visits to other schools on the improvement of their teaching skills.

The local authority is providing an intensive amount of energetic support for improvement through an experienced adviser and subject specialists. This is increasing the capacity of leadership by developing your skills. Through well-focused planning, this work is facilitating improvement in the quality of teaching and in children’s involvement in learning. The diocesan adviser visits regularly and knows the school well. A strength within improvement is the collaborative approach taken to the evaluation of the school’s work by the diocese and the local authority.

Following the monitoring inspection the following judgements were made:
The local authority statement of action is fit for purpose
The school’s action plan is fit for purpose

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