Special measures for ‘failing’ town school

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A SCHOOL has vowed to improve after an Ofsted report placed it on special measures.

Queensway Community Junior School in Hillary Road, Thetford, was inspected in November and a report released on Tuesday described the school as ‘failing’.

But the staff and governors have rallied, promising to take on the challenge of improving standards.

Headteacher Laura Jestico said: “We know we have got a task ahead of us and we are ready for that.

“The staff know there are things to improve and they are ready to get them done as quickly as possible.”

Elsie Coleman, chairman of governors, moved to support the school’s staff, saying they had ‘full confidence’ in their ability to turn performance around.

“Governors assure parents and carers that every step will be made to move the school forward to enable all of our children to make the progress they should and achieve their full potential,” she said.

The report found standards of attainment at the school ‘exceptionally low’ with the lowest possible rating given in more than half the assessed categories.

The levels of teaching were criticised, with the actions of senior staff described as ‘ineffective’ in improving standards.

The report states: “Leaders are committed and well-intentioned, but their efforts have lacked focus, and they have tried to implement too many initiatives all at once with very little to show for them.”

However, the report also points to the pupils’ personal development, safety and involvement in the local community as areas where the school performs well.

Fred Corbett, assistant director of Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council, said they would be working with the school to help raise standards.

“We have had detailed discussions with the headteacher and chair of governors about the improvements that are needed and we share the school’s disappointment that the progress that has recently been achieved has not been rapid enough,” he said.