Little Ridge on the way to progress after Ofsted praises improvements

A PRIMARY school is on course to come out of special measures by Ofsted after inspectors reported good progress.

The education watchdog visited the St Leonards school this month and said teaching and pupils’ progress was improving.

Little Ridge was placed in special measures last November following a damning Ofsted report.

Inspectors judged the school to be ‘inadequate’ in all key areas, citing low standards of attainment in reading, writing and mathematics.

Little Ridge has since announced it is to become an academy from September.

After the previous Ofsted inspection in 2011, Little Ridge was given an overall effectiveness rating of good, at which time the school was praised for ongoing improvements.

However, as a result of last year’s critical report, headteacher Tom Collins was replaced by executive headteacher Angela Gartland.

Ofsted said this week in its report that Angela had made a ‘significant impact on the school in a short space of time’.

The report added: “Along with the principal leader, Emma Catt, she has implemented strong and effective systems to improve teaching and raise standards of achievement. The strong leadership, provided by Lilac Sky Schools, has reversed the decline in achievement and significantly improved teaching, so that pupils are now making much better progress.”

Ofsted, in its report, also said the progress of all groups of pupils was accelerating and that children give an enthusiastic account of how the school is now helping them to become better readers.

Trevor Averre-Beeson, founder and principal of Lilac Sky Schools, an education services provider, said: “Pupils now have high expectations and are progressing well in their learning.

“Angela and Emma will continue to work closely with the governors, as well as parents and teachers, on the continuing journey of improvement so that the long term success of the school can be maintained as it moves forward to be an academy.”

Angela said: “I am delighted with the outcome of the report and very grateful to the staff at Little Ridge for all the hard work they have put into turning around the school. We will continue with our drive to improve educational outcomes for our pupils.”