Longwood Primary School crisis: Council detail urgent action plan

Communities / Thu 15th May 2014 at 09:13am

ESSEX COUNTY Council has detailed its action plan and may be set to turn the school into an academy.

The school went into special measures in January but a recent monitoring visit made for very worrying reading as the Paringdon Road school appeared to have got worse.

YH put a series of questions to Essex County Council.

Here are the questions and the response.

Q. Can you detail what ECC did between the school going into special measures and this weeks report

The Local Authority (LA) produced a statement of action and commissioned support with the headteacher to address the weaknesses identified in the Ofsted report of December 2013. The request by the local authority to the Secretary of State to replace the governing body with an Interim Executive Board approved. This was established at the end of February 2014. During March 2014, two interim headteachers led the school during the head’s absence due to ill health.

Stewards Academy has been supporting the school as Longwood is in their ‘family of schools’.
The Harlow Education Consortium provided an support for teaching in the younger classes.

The local authority is working with the Department for Education on the school becoming an academy with a strong sponsor.

Q. To what extent would you say that the parents and the children have been failed

The school has been judged inadequate, standards are unacceptably too low. The local authority and Department for Education are working closely to plan a much stronger leadership of the school. Ofsted recognised that the Interim Executive Board is working to improve rapidly the quality of teaching and learning.

Q. Is it an option to close the school?

No, there are not sufficient school places in other local schools. There are urgent plans in progress for the school to become a sponsored academy with a strong sponsor and approval is expected shortly from the Secretary of State. Parents will be kept informed when confirmation about the sponsor is available and a meeting is planned for after half-term to consult with parents and to update them on the school’s actions, including recruitment for September 2014.

Q. Detail your action plan?

Improvements have already been seen in behaviour management and a leadership and staffing structure has been developed which will underpin improvements to teaching and learning.

The Interim Executive Board will keep the plans under scrutiny and will monitor the impact of the targeted actions on improving pupils’ outcomes.

Additional leadership from a consultant head has been commissioned, a full time Special Education Needs Coordinator is now working in the school with the leaders to improve provision and behaviour for children with special educational needs.

Q. How many parents put Longwood down as a first option for Sept 2012 and then Sept 2013?

Longwood had 39 first preferences for September 2012 and 31 first preferences for September 2013.

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