St Leonards school is 'taking effective action'

Ofsted news
Ofsted news

A St Leonards primary school is taking steps to improve its teaching, an Ofsted inspector has said.

Following a monitoring inspection in January, leaders of St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School in Magdalen Road were found to be ‘taking effective action’ to address concerns raised at its last inspection in 2016, when the school was rated as 'requires improvement'.

While monitoring inspections of this type do not see the overall grade of schools change, the inspector praised much of the work done by the Interim Executive Board (IEB), which was formed in March last year to guide improvement at the school. It later appointed Catrin Jones as an interim headteacher following the departure of the previous head in September 2017.

In a letter to school leaders, Ofsted inspector Lee Selby said: “The tenacious work of the IEB members, led by an extremely competent chair, has uncovered much that was wrong with the school and needed to be put right quickly. The board has ensured that the pace of change has been swift and that all actions taken by leaders will lead to sustained improvements rather than being just quick fixes.”

The inspector added that more still needed to be done to improve the consistency of teaching at the school, but that the ‘weakest teaching’ had already been addressed.

The school, which has been closed this week due to the snow and ice on the roads, did not respond to a request for comment.

However, in a letter sent to parents on February 8, IEB chairman Melanie Cox welcomed the report.

She said: “As you will see, the outcome of the visit was a positive one. The inspector recognised the progress the school has made since its full inspection in October 2016 and acknowledged some of the barriers that we have had to overcome in the last year.

“It was pleasing that he gave credit to the assistant headteacher and middle leaders for their hard work last year as well as to our new interim leadership team for their many achievements since September. Whilst we are encouraged by his report, his recommendations show us where we now need to focus our efforts as we continue to improve to ‘Good’ and beyond.”

Ms Cox added that the school is currently advertising for a new permanent headteacher, with interviews to take place in March. The school is also seeking a permanent teacher for year three.