Stable staffing and effective leadership have been established at St Peter’s CofE Junior School, but the school requires improvement, according to Government inspectors.
The team from OfSTED – the Office for Standards in Education – praised the work of school leaders, governors and the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust, which runs the school.
They said the school and trust had worked diligently to overcome historical issues at the school in Wisbech – which was previously in judged as ‘inadequate’.
“Leaders and the trust have an accurate understanding of the strengths and weaknesses in the school’s provision. Leaders, supported by the trust, have established strong systems that give a clearer indication of which pupils need extra help to achieve well,” said inspectors.
While the effectiveness of leadership and management overall requires improvement, inspectors found that management of staff performance was now fully in place, and subject leaders were trained effectively to monitor teaching and learning in their subject areas.
“Despite the challenges, leaders and the trust have not been deterred from striving to improve the school’s provision. Importantly, leaders have a realistic view of how well the school is doing and what it needs to do to improve,” said the inspectors’ report.
“The trust support is effective. It provides a plethora of support to the school. The trust has been steadfast in its view that weak leadership and mediocre teaching are not good enough for the pupils at St Peter’s,” it added.
Governors were also praised – inspectors said they were extremely loyal to the school and local community and undertook training to keep themselves up to date.
They also found safeguarding at the school to be effective, adding: “Safeguarding is taken very seriously. Pupils fully trust adults in the school to deal with concerns quickly and effectively.”
While acknowledging that teaching was not yet consistently good, the inspection team praised teaching assistants for their positive impact in classes where teachers made clear their expectations for pupils’ learning.
Pupil behaviour also requires improvement, but inspectors stressed that where teaching and learning were good, staff had high expectations of pupil behaviour and pupils were fully engaged, interested and suitably challenged by their work.
The school was encouraged to improve leadership and management, secure consistency in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and improve pupils’ behaviour in lessons.
Executive headteacher Kay Corley said: “Our new leadership team has been steadfast in our determination to address historical inadequacies. We have made courageous decisions, which have moved our school forwards. Our shared vision and dedication will ensure that the school continues to improve further.”
DEMAT chief executive Andrew Read added: “We are pleased that inspectors have recognised the trajectory of improvement of St Peter's. We took over the school with a label of ‘inadequate’, a stigma now firmly assigned to the history books. While there is still lots to do, we are confident that we are in a strong position to maintain the momentum of improvement to address those areas identified by inspectors as needing attention.”