31/01/2014 - Permalink

Encouraging signs of improvement at Holy Trinity Primary School in Oswestry

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There are ‘encouraging signs of improvement’ at Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School in Oswestry and ‘it is clear that the climate in school has changed for the better’, according to Ofsted inspectors who visited the school in mid-January.

This was the third monitoring visit by inspectors since the school was placed in special measures in February 2013.

Whilst reporting that there is more work to do, inspectors found that there is ‘a growing proportion of teaching that is reliably good’.

Their report says that the appointment of a new headteacher at the start of this term, along with the secondment of experienced and skilled teachers, has added ‘considerable strength’ to the leadership team at the school and helped to boost morale, with staff speaking of “a renewed optimism and confidence”.

The inspector found that ‘the headteacher has a secure understanding of what needs to be done… her positive outlook and drive for improvement have reassured and re-energised staff.” The report also praised Shropshire Council’s action to replace the governing body with an interim executive board (IEB) as a positive move, one that is ‘timely and appropriate’ and means that ‘the school is now much better placed to move forwards’.

The IEB – a small group of education professionals and experienced governors – was put in place at the beginning of January to make sure improvements are made after Shropshire Council became concerned about the leadership and governance at the school.  The IEB only recently held its first meeting.

Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, said:

“Though the Ofsted inspector has identified room for improvement at Holy Trinity, I’m pleased that she has found that appropriate action is being taken to deal with the remaining weaknesses, both in leadership and teaching. I’m especially pleased that she has highlighted the impact made by the new head in such a short period of time, and the importance of the new interim executive board, both of which will play a key role in raising standards at the school.”

Karen Bradshaw, Shropshire Council’s director of children’s services, said:

“I’m pleased that the inspector has praised Shropshire Council’s support for the school, and the fact that we have taken action and set up the interim executive board to govern the school. The IEB will manage and oversee the school to ensure rapid and sustainable improvements are made to improve the outcomes for children and young people at the school. Ultimately, this is a management issue, and there is no need for parents or pupils to be concerned.  It is essentially business as usual and school life will carry on as normal for pupils.”