Headteacher’s pledge to drive up standards

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The headteacher of a school placed in special measures has pledged to improve standards by working with parents, council bosses and other schools.

David Hicks, of Tollgate Primary, in Bury St Edmunds, says they will ‘work hard’ to address the concerns raised by Ofsted, which ranked the school ‘inadequate’.

Following an inspection in November, officers ruled that ‘not enough pupils are fulfilling their potential and progress in reading and writing is inadequate’.

They found that ‘standards in reading and writing are too low’ and ‘teachers have not had enough guidance on how to improve their teaching’.

Meanwhile, ‘leadership and management are not strong enough to bring about the rapid and sustained improvements needed in teaching to fill the gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills’.

Focusing on the school’s strengths, officers noted that ‘relationships between teachers and pupils are good’ and ‘good teaching in physical education helps pupils to develop good skills and positive attitudes’.

The school was previously rated ‘satisfactory’ in 2010.

Mr Hicks said a plan of action to tackle the concerns was close to completion.

He said: “We’re going to work hard with parents to address the key issues. Over the next few months we will work with the local authority in seeking support from advisers and working with other schools so staff can share ideas and best practice.”

A meeting was also held with about 50 to 60 parents last Thursday to explain the way forward. Mr Hicks added: “They were generally very positive and wanted to support the school.”