Chapel Road School improving after shock loss of its “outstanding” status

Chapel Road School, Attleborough. Photo: Steve Adams

Chapel Road School, Attleborough. Photo: Steve Adams

A complex needs school that was shocked to lose its 'outstanding' status last year has been told it is taking 'effective action' to tackle areas inspectors said needed improvement.

Headteacher Karin Heap at Chapel Road School in Attleborough. Photo: Bill Smith

Headteacher Karin Heap at Chapel Road School in Attleborough. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2011

In December, Ofsted told Chapel Road School in Attleborough that its leaders' preparations to move into a new building and expand the number of pupils had 'in some respects detracted' from its analysis of some of its provision.

Following a follow-up monitoring visit on May 5, inspector Heather Yaxley acknowledged that its 'requires improvement' rating came as a 'shock', but added: 'Since then, staff and governors have seized the opportunity to reflect and act on the areas identified for improvement. For example, staff quickly acknowledged the need to expect higher standards from the most able pupils.'

In her letter to headteacher Karin Heap, Ms Yaxley said the school had reorganised the curriculum and timetable for the early years class, assessed pupils' work more frequently, and held training for teaching assistants.

Mrs Heap said: 'It has been a shock for everybody, and uncomfortable for us, but it's been good for us, and means things will be so much better in the new school.'

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She said the school had been making changes in the weeks before the inspectors came last year, in preparation for moving to a new bigger site, but following the inspection it had brought about other changes quicker.

Since the inspection, she said the school had changed the way the evidence of progress that children make is recorded in their books.

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She added: 'If I had to go through a shocking experience again, I would not want to do it with anyone but this team. They have worked so hard. We still are.'

She added that she was hopeful that the school would be judged 'good' next time.

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