Watton school wins praise from Ofsted inspectors

Pictured with pupils is acting head of teaching and learning Nicola Kaye. They are dressed up as par

Pictured with pupils is acting head of teaching and learning Nicola Kaye. They are dressed up as part of the recent World Book Day. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

'Rapid' improvement made at a school which was put on special measures just months before it becomes an academy has been recognised by government inspectors.

Ofsted inspectors downgraded Watton Junior's overall effectiveness from 'satisfactory' to 'inadequate' – the lowest available rating - at the end of last year.

The report came just weeks after the school was given the green light to become the first primary to join the Transforming Education in Norfolk (Ten) Group.

Now, following a special measures inspection last month, the school has been praised by Her Majesty's Inspector.

In a letter to the school, Prue Rayner says: 'There is good evidence that teaching and learning are improving and as a result pupils are making better progress.

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'You have established a strong leadership team and ensured leaders have time to fufill their responsibilities.'

The inspector also praises the work of acting head of teaching and learning Nicola Kaye who was drafted in from Wayland Academy.

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Ms Prue says: 'The acting head of teaching and learning is determined to engage all staff, pupils and parents in the drive to improve the school; she is passionate and relentless in her work.

'Improvement planning is precise; all staff know what is expected and when and how they will be monitored. Because teachers are working more strongly as a team and are clearer about what good and outstanding teaching looks like, improvement is rapid.'

Ms Kaye, who has been at the school since September, said the school has had a big drive on improving improving the quality of teaching and culture of learning.

She said: 'The report in December was very frustrating and disappointing because it was based on the historic picture and we felt it wasn't a true reflection.

'This is wonderful because it acknowledges that journey we are on. It's absolutely wonderful for the staff who are here and the children who are here because it acknowleges the team that we have got and it gives you the confidence that you are going in the right direction.'

The school will convert to an academy on April 1. As an academy it will be publicly-funded but operate outside local authority control.

Do you have an education story? Contact education correspondent Martin George on 01603 772468.

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