Earlham High put on special measures

STEVE DOWNES Parents and pupils were last night promised a school they could be "proud of" as it was confirmed that Earlham High, in Norwich, had been put on special measures.

STEVE DOWNES

Parents and pupils were last night promised a school they could be "proud of" as it was confirmed that Earlham High, in Norwich, had been put on special measures.

New headteacher Geoff Best vowed to turn the school around after it became the only high school in the county to have the dreaded tag.

The decision by Ofsted inspectors, exclusively revealed in the EDP in May, is the climax of a troubled few months for Earlham High.


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Headteacher Tyrone Castles left earlier this year, a few months after being given extended leave of absence while education chiefs investigated the school's declining performance.

Education officials appointed interim headteacher Jim Neale and worked "intensively" with him to revitalise the school - but their efforts were too late to stop special measures being imposed.

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Now Mr Best has taken over, fresh from lifting Oriel High in Gorleston from special measures in less than a year. He is joined by advisory deputy head Sue Kenny.

He said: "The Ofsted report describes where the school was but not where it is now. Already regular visitors tell us they can see a difference.

"Our children deserve the best and we are determined that they will receive the best education and the best chance in life. We want Earlham to be a school which pupils and parents can be proud of."

Nick Francis, chairman of the governors, said: "Working with the children, parents and community, the governors are confident that the school can once again deliver success and put a thriving Earlham High at the heart of the local community."

The county council vowed to do all it could to support efforts to improve the school.

Fred Corbett, deputy director of children's services, said: "The Ofsted report confirmed what we already knew and what we were acting to resolve. We have now appointed a very experienced temporary headteacher in Geoff Best and are working with him and the school governors to bring about change.

"We think the interventions we have taken will bring about the change we need for the school to begin to improve and will enable the school to provide the quality of educ-ation its pupils need and deserve."

Rosalie Monbiot, cabinet member for children's services, said: "We have a very good track record in working with schools to improve them to the standards where they no longer require special measures.

"I have every confidence that the staff and governors, with our support, will bring about the necessary improvement."

The other eight Norfolk schools on special measures are: Clackclose Primary, Downham Market; Abbey Junior, Thetford; Horsford All Saints Middle; North Denes Middle, Yarmouth; Fairstead Primary, King's Lynn; Bawdeswell Primary; West Earlham Middle, Norwich; South Greenhoe Middle, Swaffham.

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