Great Yarmouth school under special measures

The acting headteacher of a Great Yarmouth school that has been placed under special measures for a second time has given an assurance that progress is being made.

Ofsted inspectors gave a damning verdict that Greenacre Primary and Nursery School, in Dickens Avenue, was 'failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education'.

The school, which was previously placed under special measures in 2000, was given the lowest rating of four - signifying inadequate - for both its overall effectiveness and capacity for sustained improvement.

The outcomes for pupils, effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching and the way the school deploys resources to achieve value for money were also deemed inadequate.

None of the aspects of the school inspected received higher than a three (satisfactory) rating.

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Maggie Massey, acting headteacher, said: 'We recognise all of the issues highlighted by Ofsted and were already working to address them prior to this inspection. We are reassured that inspectors have recognised the progress we have made in recent months, particularly in improving behaviour and attendance.'

She said the school was faced with an exceptional set of circumstances, with significant pupil turnover, high rates of deprivation and a high proportion of children with special educational needs or disabilities.

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'We also have pupils from 14 different nationalities, with many children not speaking English as a first language,' she said.

However, she said children felt safe and enjoyed coming to school and the vast majority of parents were happy with the school and supportive of their work.

The school had experienced a significant degree of turbulence in recent years and was now moving in the right direction, she added.

The inspectors had noted that despite a reduction in inadequate lessons, teaching and learning were not strong enough to accelerate progress sufficiently and enable pupils to reach their full potential.

However, they observed that the leadership and management of Ms Massey had successfully given the school greater staffing stability and improved pupils' behaviour. As a result, behaviour was satisfactory and occasionally good.

Inspectors also encouragingly found the proportion of inadequate teaching had decreased because new systems had been introduced to challenge staff and hold them to account. During the inspection, learning was satisfactory in most lessons seen and in a few it was good.

As a result of recent developments, fewer pupils in year one and two were working at well below expected levels for their age group than in years three to six where the majority of pupils were still affected by previous under-achievement.

The inspectors found that staff share a commitment to improving outcomes for pupils and have contributed to curriculum developments.

Greenacre has become the fourth school in Norfolk to be placed under special measures, triggering regular monitoring inspections, the others being King George V1 Primary in Great Bircham, Narborough Primary and Peterhouse Primary in Gorleston.

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