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Primary school in Bury ‘making reasonable progress’ to removal of special measures

The new leadership team at Tollgate Primary School.

Pictured; Helen Ashe, Alison Earl, David Hicks and Lucy Smith ANL-140324-094447001

The new leadership team at Tollgate Primary School. Pictured; Helen Ashe, Alison Earl, David Hicks and Lucy Smith ANL-140324-094447001

Education watchdogs say a Bury St Edmunds school which has been in special measures for more than a year is ‘improving’.

Ofsted found that Tollgate Primary is ‘making reasonable steps towards the removal of special measures’ following a monitoring inspection last month.

The school’s new leadership team, set up after it joined the Bury St Edmunds Academy Trust, now want to build on the progress made.

In his report, Inspector Robert Lovett noted that ‘pupils’ progress is improving’ with the oldest ‘making good progress in reading and the expected progress in writing and mathematics’.

He found the ‘quality of teaching has improved’ with ‘more now good or outstanding and none is inadequate’.

Mr Lovett said: “As a result, pupils are making better progress and standards are beginning to rise.”

He added that the governing body has ‘maintained its firm commitment to school improvement and been instrumental in the proposed move to academy status’.

However, while pupils are ‘now doing better than in the past, the pattern of improvement is not sufficiently good across all year groups and subjects’.

The inspector said: “Too few pupils are making the accelerated progress required in reading, writing and mathematics for attainment gaps to close quickly.”

On the quality of leadership and management of the school, Mr Lovett added: “Senior leaders have been too slow to react to some areas for improvement and are not involving the governing body at an early enough stage. Responses lack a sense of urgency.”

Headteacher David Hicks said he was ‘pleased’ with the progress highlighted which is a ‘testament to the hard work of staff’. He said: “We’re going to work with the Bury Academy Trust on the areas that were highlighted.”

Alison Earl, head at Barrow Primary, recently took on the position of executive head at Tollgate to work with Mr Hicks to drive improvement.

She said: “The Academy Trust is working with the staff at Tollgate. We’re committed to ensuring the very best outcome for the children. We enter the summer term with fresh optimism and determination with a new leadership team. We want to build on the progress that has been made during the spring term.”

Ofsted is due to return to the school in June and the school is expected to become an academy on July 1.

 

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