Ofsted praises improvements at Cavell Primary school as campaigners fight moves to make it an academy

Simon Wright MP, chats with one of the campaign organisers, Tina Boulter, front, as concerned parent

Simon Wright MP, chats with one of the campaign organisers, Tina Boulter, front, as concerned parents campaign to stop Cavell Primary school becoming an academy. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

The governors of an 'inadequate' school who say they were removed when they opposed it becoming an academy have said they should be reinstated after Ofsted praised recent improvements.

Cavell Primary School in Norwich was put in special measures following an inspection in March, and was planning to form a co-operative learning trust with nearby schools.

However, Norfolk County Council said it should become a sponsored academy, in line with the government's wishes for 'inadequate' schools, and this month replaced the governing body with an interim executive board (IEB).

In a report released yesterday, Ofsted inspector Robert Lovett said: 'Pupils' achievement is improving across the school. This is because the quality of teaching is rising and pupils are making better progress. Most pupils are now doing as well, or almost as well, as one would expect.'

He added that results improved in year six tests, particularly in maths.

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Headteacher Simon Wakeman said: 'In some respects it's a good, solid indication the school is on its way out of special measures. One thing that's very clear from the report is the huge number of positive comments on the school, from standards to rising and the quality of teaching being good.'

Mick Castle, cabinet member for schools, said the report's description of an improvement plan with a 'sharper focus' and 'improving pupils' achievement across the school', showed the council was 'absolutely right' to step in when the school went into special measures.

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He said: 'Our decision to intervene and establish an improvement board, our commitment to bringing in local expertise to help the school to improve and taking control of the school's finances has led to this positive monitoring report.'

The report said: 'Some support as detailed in the local authority statement of action, has been delayed. Plans are in place to remedy this as a matter of urgency.'

Former chair of governors Rob Anthony said the report vindicated the governors' view of the school, and added: 'This raises many questions about the council's decision to remove the governors and attempt to force the school to become an academy. It is obvious from the report this is just not necessary. I believe it is time for the IEB to resign and allow the governors to return so they can finish the job of getting the school out of special measures as soon as possible.'

IEB chair David Lennard Jones said: 'The IEB is very encouraged by the progress that Ofsted has confirmed. There are still many issues in the school to be addressed and as the headteacher has said, we must not be complacent.

'The IEB will be working closely with the school in the coming weeks and months to ensure the progress continues so we can ensure consistently high standards of education for all the children Cavell Primary school serves.'

To view the report, click here

Should the push to make Cavell Primary School an academy continue? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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