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Bury St Edmunds school is praised as ‘good’ by Ofsted after improvements made

Pupils and staff at Riverwalk School celebrate their 'good' Ofsted
Pupils and staff at Riverwalk School celebrate their 'good' Ofsted

A Bury St Edmunds school which caters for pupils with profound learning difficulties has been praised as ‘good’ by Ofsted after making significant improvements.

Riverwalk School, in South Close, was judged to ‘require improvement’ in its last inspection two years ago when Jan Hatchell had just taken on the role of headteacher.

However, she and senior leaders have ‘successfully moved the school forward’ and the ‘quality of teaching has improved significantly’.

Meanwhile, pupils make ‘consistently good and occasionally outstanding progress in all areas of learning’.

Asked about the timing of the last inspection and the improvements made, Mrs Hatchell said: “I was very new into the school and it was very difficult for everyone. It allowed me to say this is my starting point and this is what I’ve got to do. We worked our socks off and it’s a credit to the staff.

“I was really pleased that we have been able to implement change and that the children’s progress as a result of that has improved.”

The education watchdog also found that staff have a ‘good understanding of how to support the special needs and /or disabilities of the pupils they provide for’.

On how the school can improve further, Mrs Hatchell said it was about ‘consistency’ after Ofsted noted that they needed to ensure the quality of teaching is ‘as good in the primary department as it is in the early years, the secondary department and in the sixth form’.

Riverwalk is due to move to the site of the fomer Hardwick Middle School, in Mayfield Road, in September 2018, where its college provision is already based. It will keep its Early Years provision at Sexton’s Manor Primary School.


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