Signs of improvement after failed inspection

Leyland Methodist Junior School, Canberra Road
Leyland Methodist Junior School, Canberra Road
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In the same week the Guardian reveals one of Leyland’s primary schools has been put into special measures, KAY TAYLOR looks at the progress of another school in the town, which was criticised by Ofsted earlier in the summer

This week, a damning Ofsted report for St Catherine’s RC Primary was published, announcing the Moss Lane school has been put into special measures.

It became the second school in Leyland to be put into special measures this year, after Leyland Methodist Junior School was inspected in April.

Leyland Methodist School was also criticised for ‘failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education’, and the report by the Office for Standards in Education said ‘the school is not satisfactory because pupils’ achievement is inadequate, and teaching lacks challenge.’

It added there was significant underachievement in English classes, and teachers’ marking does not help pupils to improve, so they are unsure of their personal learning goals.

In lessons, the pace of learning is too slow, because ‘time is not used efficiently’, it added.

The achievement of pupils; quality of teaching; and leadership and management were all deemed ‘inadequate’, whilst the behaviour and safety of pupils was classed as ‘satisfactory’.

A recent update from an inspection which took place at the end of September said: “The school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.”

Chairman of Governors at the school, Matthew Tomlinson, told the Guardian: “The initial report confirmed there were some underlying issues in the school, which staff and parents were aware of.

“So while the Ofsted result was disappointing, it didn’t come as a surprise.

“There had been a long period of instability, with four headteachers in the past seven years, which undoubtedly contributed to this.

“We were lucky to appoint Kathryn Melling as headteacher in September last year; she has a fantastic track record and we have a lot of faith in her.

“Unfortunately, she didn’t have enough time at the school to address the issues before the Ofsted inspection in April.”

Mr Tomlinson, who is also a councillor in the area, added: “The recent inspection judged the school as making reasonable progress, and the governors have set a timetable of one year to get the school out of special measures.

“The advice is normally to allow up to two years, so we know this goal is ambitious, but we’re confident things are on track.”

The headteacher was not available to speak to the Guardian despite being contacted on a number of occasions.

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