Swift action to turn around failing Nelson primary school


New leaders at Great Marsden St John’s CE Primary School, Nelson, have moved swiftly to tackle issues which have led to the school being placed in special measures.

This follows the publication of an Ofted report just before Christmas which classed the school as “inadequate”.

But a statement from Lancashire County Council today said a development plan was already in place, as well as new systems for checking on the quality of teaching and tracking pupils’ progress.

The Ofsted report states: “The executive headteacher and acting headteacher, ably supported by the deputy headteacher, have quickly formed an accurate view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses.

“In the short time they have been in school, they have moved swiftly to start addressing some of the key areas.”

Andrew Peers, executive headteacher, said: “No school wants to be in special measures and it is our intention to have that rating removed as soon as possible.

“St John’s is currently undergoing considerable change. As the report notes, three-quarters of teaching staff were new in post in September 2013.

“A new, permanent headteacher will join the school in January and she will continue to be supported by myself and the county council.

“She fully understands the challenge ahead and, like myself and the governors, is determined to ensure every child in our care receives the very best education.

“The inspectors could clearly see the changes we have made were starting to have an effect already, but they have to allow more time to make sure the improvements are here to stay, which is of course our firm intention.

“But I am pleased they also noticed some of the many positive aspects about life at St John’s. They found that children settle quickly in reception class where they make good progress, behave well, get to school on time and attend regularly.

“They also noted the caring attitude our children have towards each other and visitors, that they are ‘friendly, polite and considerate’, and ‘try their best’.

“The majority of parents who responded to the questionnaire said they’d recommend our school, which is very encouraging.

“Our aim is now to make sure we have excellent teaching, exciting lessons and pupils who make rapid progress. I’d like to reassure our parents we are up to the job and thank them for their continuing support.”