Ofsted inspectors note progress at Litcham School

Litcham School headteacher Jim Adams (left) and assistant Dave Simington. Picture: Ian Burt Litcham School headteacher Jim Adams (left) and assistant Dave Simington. Picture: Ian Burt

Thursday, January 16, 2014
6:30 AM

Ofsted inspectors have found signs of progress at a Norfolk school, saying its senior leaders are “taking effective action” to tackle the areas deemed as “requiring improvement” in a recent report.

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Litcham School was formed in September 2012 from the merger of the high school and primary school in the village near Fakenham.

New headteacher Jim Adams had only just been appointed when the school was inspected by Ofsted in September 2013, and given the “requires improvement” rating.

That report found younger pupils’ progress in maths was not consistently high enough, reading was not taught well to all ages, not all staff challenged pupils effectively, and too many lessons were slow-paced.

But after a follow-up monitoring visit in December, Ofsted inspectors noted that the school’s improvement plan is taking effect.

In his report, inspector Stephen Abbott says: “Senior leaders and governors have a very clear vision of the improvements they wish to achieve. “There is a strong determination to provide a good standard of education as soon as possible. Senior leaders have already made a start in putting into place the necessary management structures, such as a system for tracking pupils’ progress, a regular programme of lesson observation and departmental review and formal performance management arrangements for staff. This is helping middle leaders and teachers to know what is expected of them.”

“The challenge for the school is to raise standards quickly to make up for slow progress in the past. In addition, the school is committed to helping pupils to become more self-reliant. Marking has been improved to provide more guidance for pupils.”

The report says the school needs to take further action to increase the range of performance indicators referred to in its improvement plan, to give a higher priority to ensuring that assessments are accurate and reliable, and to provide more detail in lesson observation reports about pupils’ learning and progress.

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