Encouraging new report on North Walsham Junior School, judged as failing in the summer

A North Walsham school, judged to be failing in the summer, has been told it is making ''reasonable progress' after a return visit from the government's education watchdog.

Ofsted inspectors were back at North Walsham Junior School last month after placing it under special measures in June when they found teaching and learning to be 'inadequate.' Now the inspectors say they have stabilised. The results of Key Stage 2 tests also showed that pupils'' attainment had improved and was close to the national average, although it remained below average for maths.

The number of 'catch-up' sessions had substantially increased and inspectors noted 'an acceleration of the progress' made by pupils, but said more-able children were not being stretched.

Their summer visit coincided with major change at the school where long-term head teacher Ruth Brumby had begun leave ahead of her retirement.

The school had formally federated on June 1 with its Manor Road neighbour, North Walsham Infant School and Nursery, judged ''outstanding'' by Ofsted.

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Infant school head teacher Clare Fletcher, who had been due to become executive head of both schools in September, stepped into the breach three months early to start improvements.

Last month's Ofsted visit found that Mrs Fletcher had laid a good foundation to begin helping improve pupils'' attainment.

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The inspector's report also praised the new governing body and said it understood the weaknesses that needed tackling.

Commenting on the report, Mrs Fletcher said they had all been working hard and were encouraged that the inspectors felt they were heading in the right direction.

She added: ''Every child deserves to attend a good, local school. This school will be a good school soon.'

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