Head teacher says Kessingland Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School is making great strides

Kessingland Primary School has been placed on Specia
measures after a poor Ofsted report.
Headteacher Simon Lea.

Kessingland Primary School has been placed on Specia measures after a poor Ofsted report. Headteacher Simon Lea. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A primary school placed in special measures after it was rated by Ofsted as 'inadequate' has taken important steps forward, according to the head teacher.

Earlier this year, the Kessingland Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School was described by education watchdog Ofsted as having below average attendance, the teaching was said to be 'not good enough' and pupils were making inadequate progress in English and mathematics.

Coming three years after the school was graded as 'good', head teacher Simon Lea said everyone at the school in Field Lane was 'disappointed' with the findings – but now, they were already 'raising the attainment' of more than 260 pupils and plans were in place to 'move the school forward'.

Mr Lea said: 'We were very shocked and very disappointed with the report, but we didn't shut the school up – instead we held an open day for parents to show how our school works.'

Recalling how he had gone through 'many emotions,' Mr Lea said: 'My overriding emotion is that of determination. I am proud of this school and the work we do. I am more determined to work together with my staff and parents as a team to move this school forward and do our very best for the children.'

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He said that there were 'some aspects' that they were aware of that needed improvement, such as attainment and attendance, but the quality of teaching comments were not expected.

Mr Lea said: 'We've had the local authority working with us, and they have been very good – with the maths and English support being fantastic. We have now changed the timetable and we have a heavy maths and English focus in the morning. We've been running a regular themed week, where we incorporate literacy and maths into it.' The school has launched a new action plan, which runs for the next 12 to 18 months, and Mr Lea said: 'Of course, the Academy agenda may take over. The Department for Education (DFE) has already been in touch, but we have to continue to work to improve the school we have got.'

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With an HM inspector having already visited the school since the report findings, they will return in December or January to assess the impact of the action plan and 'see what we have done', according to Mr Lea.

After the inspection, lead inspector Stephen Walker said: 'This is a school that requires special measures. Leaders, managers and governors have not dealt with the significant shortcomings in the quality of teaching and pupils' progress. Teaching is not good enough. Governors have not held leaders and managers sufficiently to account for the progress of pupils and the quality of teaching.'

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