School rated as ‘inadequate’

A HEADTEACHER has vowed that her school has the ‘capacity to go onwards and upwards’ after it was deemed ‘inadequate’ by education watchdogs.

Admirals’ Junior School, in Thetford, ‘requires significant improvement’ and ‘attainment is low’, according to Ofsted inspectors.

It follows last week’s verdict that progress at the town’s Queensway Community Junior School, which was placed on special measures in January, was ‘inadequate’.

In a report, inspector Heather Weston explained that Admirals’ ‘went into a period of significant decline’ following difficulties including a significant staff turnover, a high level of staff absence and low staff morale.

She said: “Pupils make too little progress throughout the school in English, mathematics and science, because the quality of teaching is inadequate. Too many lessons are satisfactory and few are good.”

She added that on taking up her post in 2009 head Theresa Rogers ‘swiftly moved’ to address the situation ‘leading staff and the governing body in order to secure a stable environment’ and the school has demonstrated a ‘satisfactory capacity to improve’.

To improve, her recommendations included holding teachers more closely to account for pupils’ achievement, setting higher expectations regarding pupils’ rates of progress and ensuring they develop literacy and numeracy skills across the full range of subjects.

Mrs Rogers said: “The report reflects the journey we have been on and highlights very clearly where our next steps need to be. We just need to speed up the pace of one of two of the things we had put in place.

“We’ve made massive strides because it really was quite tricky and I do still believe we have the capacity to go onwards and upwards. I feel really strongly about that because the children are super.

“It’s important to recognise we have the capacity to improve further and we have the ability to do what needs to be done.”