Strong leadership leads to improvement at Spalding school

GETTING BETTER: Spalding Parish Day School headteacher Glyn Rushton and pupils.
GETTING BETTER: Spalding Parish Day School headteacher Glyn Rushton and pupils.
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A Spalding primary school’s efforts to improve have been recognised by Ofsted inspectors.

Spalding Parish Day School has been told that it is an improving school and thanks to the strong leadership from the headteacher, managers and governors, it has become better at focusing on improving teaching and ensuring pupils’ progress.

Although the school was still judged overall as “requires improvement”, the report did highlight areas where progress had been made since the school was lifted out of “notice to improve” in January 2010.

At that inspection it was rated as “satisfactory” – the equivalent to the “requires improvement” rating which came into force with the new Ofsted framework at the beginning of September.

Headteacher Glyn Rushton said: “None of the inspectors’ findings were a surprise and I am delighted they acknowledged that the leadership team has correctly identified the school’s ‘Next Steps’ and that we are already acting on them.

“As with many things, time is the most important factor on such a journey of improvement.”

The inspectors said the school now had the following strengths:

• an increasingly successful focus on improving teaching and accelerating pupils’ progress

• pupils’ behaviour and attitudes are good

• some areas of weakness, such as pupils’ progress in English, have been tackled successfully

• pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is good

• pupils who speak English as an additional language, those who are eligible for support from the pupil premium, disabled pupils and those with special educational needs are well supported.

But the standard of teaching and pupils’ achievement were still judged as requiring improvement, although it was acknowledged that progress had been made.

Mr Rushton said those were continually being reviewed, adding: “We will continue to strive to achieve our ambition of being an outstanding school.”

Some of the areas where Ofsted inspectors said Spalding Parish Church of England Day School needs to improve include:

• Pupils’ achievement, although accelerating, is not yet consistently good across the school

• Attainment in national tests has been below average overall for the past two years. In 2012 attainment rose markedly in English but remained significantly below average in maths

• Leadership and management require improvement because the roles of senior leaders and managers in checking the work in their areas of responsibility are not fully developed

• Although teaching is improving rapidly, it requires further improvement. It has not been consistently good enough, for long enough, to enable all pupils to achieve well in all subjects

• In some lessons, teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve are not high enough