New headteacher on path to improving Blackburn primary school
OFSTED inspectors said they think a new headteacher will be able to succeed with a school which ‘requires improvement’.
St Alban’s RC Primary School in Blackburn is said to still be experiencing difficulties and Ofsted said the quality of teaching was not always good.
The school entered a rocky period when former headteacher Annie Owens was sacked in 2012 following a nine-month investigation into allegations of bullying against staff and pupils.
After interim arrangements, new headteacher Claire Speakman was brought in.
Inspector Louise Murphy said: “There has been weak teaching in the past, leaving a legacy of under-achievement for pupils. Although the new headteacher is tackling this vigorously, progress is still uneven across the school.
“In the 2013 end of Year 6 national tests, too few pupils made the progress expected of them in reading, writing and mathematics and therefore, achievement requires improvement.
“Pupils do not make consistently good progress from their starting points in reading, writing and mathematics, because the quality of teaching is not always good.”
However she added: “The quality of teaching is improving and some is good. Pupils’ behaviour is good and they are eager to learn.”
She added that the headteacher was capable of making great improvements.
She said: “The headteacher is relentlessly driving school improvement. She deservedly has the full confidence of school staff and the governing body.
“The relatively new headteacher has a clear view of the direction that she wants the school to take. She has quickly gained the confidence of staff and school governors, so she is now leading a cohesive team determined to do their best to improve standards.”
Mrs Speakman was praised for the ‘speed with which she has improved staff morale’. Mrs Speakman said: “We were particularly pleased Ofsted noted the excellent behaviour and attitude to learning of the children. The school continues to improve thanks to the hard work of all staff and support from parents, governors, the local authority and the dioccese.”
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