Ofsted praises bid to improve battling school

Set to leave: Acting headteacher Val Plant
Set to leave: Acting headteacher Val Plant
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A primary school which was put into special measures by Ofsted is making improvements, the education watchdog has announced.

St Catherine’s RC Primary School, in Leyland, was criticised by Ofsted because the achievement of pupils and quality of teaching was deemed ‘inadequate’ when inspectors visited in October.

They said leadership at the Moss Lane school was ‘weak’, and said teachers were not getting the best out of their pupils.

Now though, after a follow-up visit in December, Ofsted has revealed the school’s action plans are ‘fit for purpose’, as is the Lancashire County Council statement for action.

The report, late last month, said: “Senior leaders and governors responded swiftly to the judgement of the recent inspection.

“Working with the local authority, they created an improvement plan grounded firmly on better outcomes for pupils.”

It added that the headteacher remains on sickness absence, and that the acting headteacher, Val Plant, will leave the school at the end of this term to take up a headship at another school.

An associate deputy headteacher and an associate assistant headteacher were appointed following the inspection.

The report says: “With the imminent departure of the acting headteacher, governors have secured an associate headteacher to provide leadership stability in this time of staffing flux.”

It adds that “staff know what action needs to be taken to lift the school’s performance, and are motivated to do so”.

Lynne Slater, associate deputy head at St Catherine’s, said: “The comments from the inspectors who visited us recently were very encouraging indeed, and it’s gratifying to know they regard our actions as being swift and decisive.

“There are plans to continue the improvements we have started, and we remain confident that St Catherine’s will be back on track and rated as a good school.

“Parents are being kept fully informed, and I would like to thank them for their enthusiastic support for the school throughout.”