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Courthouse Junior School receives 'requires improvement' rating from Ofsted

The headteacher of a popular junior school has said it will keep focusing on improvement after a disappointing Ofsted report.

Courthouse Junior School in Blenheim Road received a rating of ‘requires improvement’ following an inspection in March. The report, which was published on Tuesday, May 9, said the school needed improvement in the effectiveness of leadership and management, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and outcomes for pupils.

The report found pupil progress at the school was ‘variable and not consistently good’ and students had few opportunities to develop their skills in writing.

It also found leaders did not check how effectively the pupil premium is being used to help disadvantaged pupils make better progress in English and mathematics.

It states: “Leaders have not ensured that the quality of teaching and learning is strong enough to enable pupils to make consistently good progress, particularly in writing.”

It also said the system for managing teachers’ performance was not robust and senior leaders were not closely involved in checking the quality of class teachers’ work.

The report states: “Decisive steps are now being taken to secure better outcomes for pupils. The leadership team has been restructured this year.

“Several key members of the new leadership team are relatively inexperienced. However, training programmes and advice from an external consultant, brokered through the local authority, are providing effective support.”

The report also noted a ‘strong team spirit’ at the school, and said staff morale was high.

Gerry Heynes, headteacher, said: “The areas for improvement have been our focus for some time and the Inspection team recognised this in their report. They acknowledged we are moving in the right direction, but concluded that things had not been sufficiently swift.”

He said the key areas the school is focusing on included raising pupil achievement, including those with special educational needs.

Liz Tarbit, chairman of governors, said: “We already had plans in place to address the areas that the Ofsted inspection highlighted and everybody is working hard together to achieve these improvements.”

The school received a rating of good for the categories of personal development, behaviour and welfare.

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