Parents rally as Tredworth primary school is placed in special measures
PARENTS in Tredworth have rallied behind St James CofE Junior School after Ofsted inspectors placed it in special measures.
A damning report by the education watchdog labels pupils' achievement inadequate, states disabled children are not given the extra help they need, and raises question marks over teaching standards generally.
However, Ofsted goes on to acknowledge that the new acting headteacher, Caroline Holcombe, has "gained the trust of staff and parents" and is beginning to take action to raise attainment and improve teaching. A pledge to improve has been made and parents of its 176 pupils said they would stick by the school. Mo Clements, who was picking up her niece yesterday, said: "From what I can see the school is very good. If there have been problems, I certainly haven't been made aware of them."
One mum, who did not want to be named, whose daughter attends the school, said: "I was a bit shocked to hear the school was in special measures. Things have improved a lot recently, I wouldn't say it's a bad school at all. Miss Holcombe is doing a great job and the children really like her."
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Ofsted, which gave the school a "good" rating on its previous visit in 2009, has highlighted the need for the school to improve the quality of teaching, support for pupils who need extra help, and leadership. Mrs Holcombe said: "Our team of dedicated staff and governors have already started planning and implementing new strategies for improving key areas of the curriculum, especially writing. We are prioritising the key issues that have been highlighted and are ready to take up the challenge."
In Linden, Calton Junior School will be seen as a benchmark by those at St James. In November the school was also given the lowest rating by Ofsted. But, in what was meant to be just a monitoring visit in May, inspectors were so impressed they took it out of special measures and gave it a "good" rating. St James will now have regular short-notice Ofsted inspections.