Ofsted criticises Red Lodge school’s funding

Newmarket Journal June 2013''St Christophers Primary School Red Lodge
Newmarket Journal June 2013''St Christophers Primary School Red Lodge

Ofsted has condemned funding shortages as a hindrance to St Christopher’s CEVC Primary School’s progression.

The schools’ inspectorate found the school ‘requires improvement’ during a visit last month.

Headteacher Kathryn McMurtary said a plan had been agreed with Ofsted to combat those areas that caused concern.

These include students’ writing skills, the consistency of teaching and the marking of work.

Within their report, inspectors cite ‘significant building issues and particularly a lack of sufficient funding’ as problems faced by the school.

Mrs McMurtary said funding was ‘very tight’ and this had prevented the school from doing all it wanted.

She said: “I think it’s frustrating perhaps we have not had the support at the time it was needed.”

St Christopher’s CEVC Primary School opened in a state-of-the-art new building in Red Lodge, last September.

In its first year, pupil numbers rapidly exceeded expectations.

Along with the school’s deputy headteacher ,Mrs McMcMurtary is described by inspectors as providing ‘good, strong leadership’.

The report states: “They have worked extremely hard over the past year to successfully open the new school and deal with a range of difficult staffing issues and rapidly rising numbers.”

Inspectors praised the behaviour of students and found that weaknesses were being addressed by the school’s management.

A Suffolk County Council spokesperson said: “It remains our priority to ensure that children across Suffolk receive a high quality education in suitable surroundings. The new school building at St Christopher’s School was delivered on time and within budget.

“All Suffolk schools are funded fairly on a formula based on the demographic and number of pupils – the funding for St Christopher’s was adjusted appropriately to cater for the additional pupils that joined the school.”