Ofsted praises Catton Grove Primary weeks after it received a warning notice

Headteacher Tim Lawes(front centre) and the pupils and staff of Catton Grove Primary celebrate their

Headteacher Tim Lawes(front centre) and the pupils and staff of Catton Grove Primary celebrate their "good" Ofsted report.Photo Simon Finlay

A city primary school has retained its 'good' rating from Ofsted inspectors, just weeks after a senior civil servant handed it an official warning notice over 'unacceptably low standards of performance'.

Ofsted's letter to Tim Lawes, head of Catton Grove Primary, praised action taken following exam results last summer where pupils 'did not make sufficient progress and did not achieve well enough in reading, writing or mathematics'.

Following her July 6 inspection, Julie Winyard wrote: 'You have turned this around in the last year as a result of the good training for teachers and a much sharper focus from you and the senior leadership team on checking pupils' progress every half term.'

The letter hailed the Catton Grove as 'a school at the heart of its community', and added that parents enjoy coming into school and are very keen to help their children's education, and said pupils' behaviour was 'consistently good throughout the school day'.

The inspection came two months after Tim Coulson, the regional schools commissioner, wrote to Catton Grove's chair of governors, and said: 'I am satisfied that the standards of performance of pupils at the school are unacceptably low and are likely to remain so.'

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Mr Lawes said: 'What we were able to do was to recognise that we needed to up our game, and I think we did that very effectively. We were also able to recognise that if you got into the details of the results, they actually were not as bad as the headline figures suggested. That does not mean we made excuses, but it's symptomatic of the way that the accountability system works.'

He said he was proud of the school's inclusion team, adding: 'We are saying we will give every child an opportunity to succeed, no matter what their circumstances and background are.'

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