Chatteris primary school to become academy

Education News from the Fenland Citizen,, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Education News from the Fenland Citizen,, @FenlandCit on Twitter

A struggling primary school placed in special measures last year is to become an academy this summer.

Next month, Kingsfield Primary School in Chatteris will convert to an academy with the expanding Active Learning Trust, which also looks after the Neale Wade Academy and Burrowmoor Primary School in March.

Ofsted inspectors last year described teaching at Kingsfield as inadequate and said the school had failed to provide its pupils with an acceptable standard of education.

Last month, a team of inspectors returned to the Burnsfield Street school to monitor any improvements and agreed it was making “reasonable progress” towards the removal of special measures.

But Paul Tomkow, who headed the team, said that despite improvements overall attainment remained low because not enough teaching was good or better.

“As a result most pupils are not making the progress needed to attain, or exceed, the levels which are expected for their age,” he said.

In a report to the school, Mr Tomkow said: “Gaps in pupils’ knowledge and understanding of grammar, punctuation and spelling are not being addressed and this is limiting the rate of progress in writing.

“The school’s own data shows that standards in reading, writing and mathematics are improving . The rate of progress is not fast enough to narrow the gap in these subjects but it has stopped the gap from widening further.”

He added: “Comprehensive plans are in place to eradicate inadequate teaching and further increase the proportion of good teaching through staff training and further challenge to poor practice.”

Mr Tomkow also said the school’s new headteacher Joanne Tomlins has taken decisive action to improve standards since starting at the school in January.

He said: “She has acted quickly to tackle inadequate teaching and also ensured that support and training has been made available to staff in order to improve the quality of teaching and rate of progress.

“Parents and carers are overwhelmingly positive about the school and the impact that the new headteacher has had on teaching and behaviour.”

His report said the academy trust has been providing good support to the school in its preparation for transition to academy status in July.

It also said five new teachers will be in post at the start of the new term in September.