School taking action to tackle problems

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A Nelson primary school which was found to require improvement by Ofsted inspectors in March last year is taking effective action to tackle the areas identified.

A monitoring inspection paid to St John Southworth RC Primary School last month found improvements to the governance and leadership at the Lomeshaye Road school.

Ofsted inspector John Nixon said in his report: “ The governing body is now leaner and sharper.

“The governing body’s school effectiveness committee is effective in holding leaders to account through a range of strategies that allow them to check the information they receive.

“However, not all governors are part of this committee and it is recognised that further development of the whole governing body to allow it to hold leaders to account is a priority.

“Actions by the governing body to arrest the decline in the rate of progress the school was making, due to turbulence in stability and quality of leadership, have been effective.

“You demonstrate a clear vision and an ability to effectively plan and prioritise the actions needed to help improve the school.

“This is a significant positive step for the school as stability of staffing, and leadership in particular, will be crucial if it is to succeed on its journey to be judged good at the next inspection.”

Mr Nixon said the leadership team has been substantially strengthened through the appointment of acting headteacher Neil Gurnan and an associate deputy headteacher.

He said both had skills and abilities that complement effective elements already in place in middle leadership in theschool.

He went on: “Consequently the senior leadership team has a renewed vigour to move forward and succeed in improving the school. Staff also recognise this improvement and are vocal in their support for the new leadership to help bring about the needed improvements.

“Teaching is improving because you and other leaders have prioritised and shared appropriate areas for improvement and associated expectations. Consequently training is more focussed and teachers have a better understanding of what needs to improve and how to do it.”