School’s progress ‘too slow’

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PROGRESS at a troubled school has been deemed ‘inadequate’ by government inspectors.

Queensway Community Junior School, in Thetford, was placed on special measures by Ofsted inspectors in January after its performance was seen to be failing students.

Inspectors returned last month to carry out a monitoring report and found that improvements were not being made quickly enough.

The Government body has now demanded ‘greater urgency’ from the school and Norfolk County Council in tackling problem areas such as the quality of teaching, attendance and pupils’ attainment.

A statement from Laura Jestico, headteacher, and Elsie Coleman, chairman of governors, said: “We are working towards making the necessary improvements. We have made some progress but we recognise there is still a way to go.

“We are very hopeful about the future as we have been able to strengthen our staff for September.”

Last year’s inspection found the school’s performance needed to improve by:

n Raising standards of attainment in English and mathematics to reach at least the national average.

n Ensuring all teaching is good or better.

n Developing the capacity of leaders, managers and the governing body to drive forward improvement.

n Improving attendance to reach the national average by December 2011.

But inspectors found that ‘no significant changes’ have been made since the school was put on special measures.

The report also found that Norfolk County Council had been ‘slow to respond’ to Ofsted recommendations.

The council insists it has a good track record in helping schools and has backed the headteacher, governors and staff to turn the situation around.

Tony Hull, who has taken three Norwich schools out of special measures as headteacher, has been drafted in by the council to advise the school.

A spokeswoman said: “We recognise there is still more work to do at the school and we will be working to provide additional support for teaching and learning.

“Ongoing assistance will be provided by maths and English advisers and Mr Hull will continue to work with the school.”