Special measures school makes ‘satisfactory’ progress

A PENDLE primary school which was made subject to special measures following an Ofsted inspection in November has made satisfactory progress since, a follow-up visit to the school has found.

Inspectors Ruth James and Peter McKay spent two days at Walter Streeet School, Brierfield, last month and in their report, say: “In the lessons observed pupils generally made satisfactory progress, and in some cases

some groups made better progress. Teachers’ expectations are rising and there is increasing recognition of the need to ensure that pupils make the rapid and sustained progress necessary for them to reach age related expectations.

“There is a shift in the culture that previously accepted low outcomes by the end of Key Stage 2 because pupils join the school with skills well below those typical of children of their age. In the best lessons all pupils work productively and rapidly and no time is wasted, but in other lessons time is not used as

effectively so less is achieved in the time available.

“The school’s formal systems for assessing and tracking progress have been refined and the most recent data suggest that progress has begun to accelerate more rapidly. Scrutiny of books and school data suggest that attainment is rising, with a more positive picture emerging for reading and mathematics than for writing, where standards of attainment remain particularly low.

“A firm commitment to raising achievement is evident from leaders and managers at all levels, including the governing body. The action plan is clearly focused on the areas for improvement identified at the inspection.

“Experienced staff are in place in all key management posts. Nevertheless, local authority support continues to be an important factor driving school improvement. Governors are highly committed and keen to increase their involvement and understanding to enable them to provide greater challenge.

“The local authority statement of action for the school has been evaluated and is ‘fit for purpose’. Support from the local authority was already in place prior to the previous inspection as the need for school improvement had been recognised.

“Support has included advice and guidance from both the school adviser and an adviser from the specialist

monitoring and intervention team. Consultants for teaching and learning, English and mathematics have provided training for the whole school, groups of teachers and individuals.

“This is having a positive impact on the quality of teaching. In addition, the local authority attendance consultant is working with the headteacher and other staff to develop strategies further to improve attendance.”