School ‘must do better, says Ofsted

Newtown Primary has been placed in special measures.
Newtown Primary has been placed in special measures.

A HIGH Peak school has been placed in ‘special measures’ to address weaknesses in teaching, leadership and learning.

An action plan has now been put in place to improve standards at Newtown Primary School following an Ofsted inspection.

An inspector recommended that the school:

l Raise achievement in reading, writing and maths so that by July 2013 attainment at the end of Year 6 is in line with national averages;

l Improve the quality of teaching and pupils’ behaviour;

l Improve curriculum planning;

l Improve the effectiveness of leadership and management.

Immediate steps to raise standards at the 93-pupil school have already been taken by staff and governors in consultation with Derbyshire County Council.

Councillor Mike Longden, DCC’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “When a school is placed in special measures it will always be a time of concern for parents.

“But our education advisors are going to be working closely with the school’s headteacher and governors to ensure that everything possible is done to drive up standards.”

Headteacher Sarah Butterworth said: “Our work to address issues raised by the inspectors is already well underway with help from the local authority.

“Since the previous inspection the school has experienced significant disruption to staffing.

“But we’re now looking ahead and putting pupils and learning at the heart of our future plans.”

Chair of Governors Sue Woodgate said: “We’ve looked closely at the points raised and are committed to doing everything necessary to implement the inspectors’ recommendation and get to where we need to be.”

The report saw strengths highlighted including:

lChildren in the Early Years Foundation stage get off to a good start and attainment in reading, writing and maths is above average at the end of Year 2;

l Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs receive effective support to enable them to make satisfactory progress;

l Pupils are friendly and polite and most behave well;

l The curriculum promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.