‘Plans in place’ to move Colne school forward

Park Primary School, Colne.'Photo Ben Parsons
Park Primary School, Colne.'Photo Ben Parsons

An associate headteacher has said that strong plans are now in place to drive a Colne primary school forward.

The words of Julie Martin come after Park Primary School’s senior leaders and governors were told they have “not being taking effective action” since being deemed in need of improvement by Ofsted in February.

Following a monitoring inspection in March, Her Majesty’s Inspector Joan Bonenfant described how the many changes at leadership level has left the Rutland Street school “floundering like a rudderless ship”.

The establishment has had two headteachers since 2012, and since the previous inspection the substantive headteacher has resigned.

But now Mrs Martin, who will be at the school until the end of August, has promised Park Primary, “a victim of unfortunate circumstances”, is heading in the right direction.

Acting headteacher Sarah Midgley, who is currently on maternity leave, will take the role of full-time headteacher when she returns over the Christmas period.

Mrs Martin said: “I turned an action plan around within a week, and Joan Bonenfant has said that is going to be used as an example to other schools. We are moving forward.

“I am working very closely with the deputy headteacher Jill Greenwood - she is brilliant, knows the school inside out, and is well respected by staff, children and parents.

“I have been doing lesson observations, and focusing on Key Stage Two, and I have seen some really good teaching. “Behaviour was something that was brought up and we are working really hard as a school to calm things down. In class, there are no issues, but every two weeks we are having a whole school focus.

“The staff work so hard and the children are just delightful - it is moving to good now.”

The report also says that governors “are not sufficiently well-informed” and that “they lack the confidence required to hold the school to account”.

Now, according to Mrs Martin, governors attended an Ofsted “Getting to Good” seminar and an “Adopt a Governor” programme has been implemented in the school.

Praise was also given to the “engaging, articulate and friendly pupils” who are “wholeheartedly supportive and proud of their school”.

The report states: “It was a heart-warming experience to meet with such shining examples of the youth of today; the pupils of Park Primary deserve a good school with leaders prepared to tackle with urgency, persistence and vigour the stumbling blocks standing in the way of their future.”

Park Primary School’s after school club was given a “good” grading following a February inspection.