Special measures for village school

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A PIONEERING school has been placed on special measures by government inspectors.

In its first Ofsted report since combining primary and secondary education in September, Hockwold and Methwold Community School has been branded ‘inadequate’ by inspectors.

In a report released on Tuesday, the school was given the lowest possible score in three of the four rating categories – achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management.

Lead inspector Lindsay Hebditch said: “Her Majesty’s Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement.”

Jeff Prosser, the school’s chairman of governors, cited Ofsted’s revamped inspection scheme as a reason for their poor performance, while insisting there was room for improvement.

“We were one of the first schools in the country to be inspected under the new scheme which only came in on January 1 and it is clear that the goalposts have been moved quite significantly.

“Nevertheless, there are obvious areas where we need to improve and these have been highlighted as our performance in English examinations, the teaching of literacy throughout the school and in some instances the quality of some of our teaching.

“We are already putting in place actions to deal with the criticisms of the inspectors and we have been assured of the full support of the Local Education Authority in giving us the help that we need.”

Inspectors observed 24 teachers delivering 27 lessons to produce the report.

The school’s new status will mean it is given an action plan by Ofsted and receive regular visits from inspectors.