Joy at swift turnaround for Wisbech school
A Wisbech school has become one of the most improved schools in the country after a rapid turnaround driven by “outstanding” leaders.
Ofsted has judged Ramnoth Junior School as ‘good’ overall in a glowing report – less than two years after the school was rated as ‘inadequate’ and placed into special measures to improve.
Back then fewer than 20 per cent of the children who left in the summer of 2013 had achieved Level Four or above in reading, writing and mathematics. A second monitoring visit since the school was given Ofsted’s lowest rating also found the school “was not making progress”.
Its fortunes began to change when the school became an academy with the Elliot Foundation Academy Trust in October 2013, and this summer 70 per cent of Year Six children are expected to attain level four or higher in all three core subjects.
Ofsted published its latest report on the school last week following a two-day inspection in June.
It graded achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and behaviour and safety of pupils as ‘good’, while leadership and management were classed as ‘outstanding’.
It said: “Outstanding leadership and management have vastly improved the quality of teaching, pupils’ achievement and behaviour since the academy opened. The academy is continuing to improve rapidly.”
The report, by lead inspector Steven Hill, continued: “Teaching is good throughout the academy. Teachers know pupils’ needs well and give them work that is suitably challenging. They explain things clearly to pupils and show them just what they need to do to succeed.”
Mr Hill said staff make “excellent” use of information about pupils’ progress to address any shortcomings in achievement and to give pupils work that is challenging but manageable.
“The rigorous system, developed by the trust, to assess and record pupils’ progress against new national requirements has been central to this success,” he said.
The report also praised the school’s wide-ranging curriculum and excellent support for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
It said: “This has transformed pupils’ behaviour and attitudes to learning since the academy opened.”
School headteacher Karen Crawley said Ofsted’s verdict was the perfect end-of-term present.
“The children and staff have all worked so hard together,” she said.
“I am particularly pleased that the report highlights the transformation in children’s attitudes to learning because this was the key to their success.”
Hugh Greenway, chief executive of the Elliot Foundation Academy Trust, added: “I am in awe of what Karen and her team have achieved at Ramnoth. It is one of the most improved schools in the country.
“I have said before that Karen is the personification of the Elliot approach that success starts with believing in children and schools and I am very proud to work with her.
“This is her third outstanding leadership judgement in less than six months, and our ninth in less than a year, which has to be close to a transformational record.”