New academy status for Marshland St James to drive improvements

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An ‘inadequate’ school has been told it is making “reasonable progress” to improve in its final Ofsted inspection before converting into an academy.

The education watchdog said Marshland St James Primary School and Nursery had secured improvements in many areas following the monitoring inspection last month, but some weaknesses still remain.

Headteacher Sarah Durrant accepted there was still work to do, but said she was pleased with how far the school had come since it was judged to be ‘inadequate’ in January.

And she said becoming an academy with the Diocese of Ely Multi Academy Trust from September 1 gives the school a fantastic opportunity for “rapid improvement”.

She said: “We are in a much stronger position now than we were. Yes, we need to ramp that up a bit, but support from the trust will allow us to do that and provide the best for our children.”

She also praised pupils for “knuckling down”, with improved behaviour and attitudes towards learning, and thanked the Diocese, the Norfolk education authority and parents for all the support received so far.

A report from the monitoring inspection said pupil achievement in reading, writing and mathematics had improved, along with the quality of teaching in Key Stage 2, although this was not as evident in Key Stage 1 and the early years foundation stage.