Must do better – and they did!

Parents, staff, children and governors celebrate at Field Lane Primary School after they were taken out of special measures
Parents, staff, children and governors celebrate at Field Lane Primary School after they were taken out of special measures

CHILDREN, staff and parents are celebrating after their school was taken out of Ofsted’s ‘special measures’.

Field Lane Primary School was put into the ‘must do better’ category in January, 2011 after a damming Ofsted report. Executive head teacher Lynda Johnson was brought in during December, 2011 and an Interim Executive Board has governed the school since last May.

The school has received three monitoring reports since being put into special measures and has successfully managed to improve its standard to a satisfactory mark, something which normally takes five reports.

Mr Brian Beal, chairman of the Interim Executive Board, said they were thrilled for everyone connected to the school. “Everyone has worked so hard to bring about these improvements that have benefited our children,” he said.

“The positive changes noted by the inspector have occurred through a real team effort and we are looking forward to continued progress and success for our school and community.”

Inspector Christopher Keeler said the school had rapidly improved. “School leaders are acutely aware that in order to be graded as ‘good’, pupils’ achievement has to be sustained as a result of consistently good teaching.

“Pupils’ achievement, including disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs, is satisfactory and rising. The gap in terms of previous attainment and that achieved by schools nationally has narrowed significantly. However, pupils do not have sufficient opportunities to practise and apply their basic literacy and numeracy skills in other subjects.”

He said teaching was satisfactory with some that is good. Pupils are safe, well behaved and display positive attitudes to learning. “The school is improving rapidly due to good leadership and management at all levels.

“The head teacher is very focused on securing improvement and has successfully developed a strong sense of teamwork between leaders and staff.

“The quality of teaching is well managed and under performance is quickly and effectively addressed. The Interim Executive Board holds the school to account well and as such is making a positive contribution to its development. The school demonstrates good capacity to improve further.”

The school will become an academy in September and join in partnership with Siddal Primary School, where Mrs Johnson is head.

Governors anticipate that the partnership will strengthen educational opportunities in both communities and that children will flourish because of the continuity in leadership and teaching the exciting innovation will bring.