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Friday, 24 October 2014

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School head: ‘We will be outstanding’

A HEADTEACHER has vowed to make her school outstanding after receiving a critical inspection.

Ofsted inspectors visited Barrow Island Community Primary School in November and gave it a “requires improvement” rating.

The rating is the equivalent to the “satisfactory” rating the school received at its previous inspection.

Janet Dixon, head at the school since 2008, has said the report’s findings have not come as a surprise and that staff at the school are working to transform the school’s fortunes. The report criticises the pace of some lessons, achievement of pupils and the speed of progress in Year Two and Three classes, as well as punctuation skills and maths.

However, the inspector praised school management and said staff were beginning to successfully tackle its weaknesses.

He cited improvement in teaching and said the school is growing in strength.

The progress of reception children and pupil behaviour was also seen as a positive, along with positive work with pupils with disabilities and those with additional needs.

Mrs Dixon said the school has made vast improvements during her tenure and paid tribute to staff dedication.

She said: “We will be outstanding before I retire.

“We will have the best for the children. Since I arrived in 2008 there has been a steep curve of improvement.”

The school achieved its first level six in maths this year, and 71 per cent of Year Six pupils achieved a level four in their maths SATs – compared to 19 per cent in 2009.

Mrs Dixon said the deprived nature of the school’s catchment area makes it difficult to compete on a national scale after the contextual value added to pupils criteria was abolished.

The school has undergone some disruption but at Easter the school is due to move from the former Alfred Barrow site in Duke Street, back to its Barrow Island base.

Mrs Dixon said: “There was nothing in that report that was a shock and nothing we didn’t know about and we weren’t working on.

“We are quite disappointed with the overall judgement because it’s judged on data from last year.

“At the end of the day it is a fantastic school. Our parents, our governors and our teachers say so.”

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