Decisive action being taken to improve King’s Lynn school

Education news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter

Education news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter

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A school’s leaders are “acting decisively” to improve after it was put into special measures, a new report said.

Ofsted revisited Lynn’s King Edward VII School (KES) at the end of last month after finding it to be inadequate in September.

In a report just sent to Michael Douglass, the school’s headteacher, inspector Jason Howard said: “You and the other members of the leadership team are acting decisively to improve teaching, learning and the effectiveness of leaders and managers at all levels.

“Leaders have set clear expectations about what needs to improve and have helped colleagues to make changes in a number of areas.

“Teachers are starting to use accurate information about what students can already do to plan activities that will build on what they know and tackle any gaps in their understanding.

“They are using this information to plan extra help for individual students who are at risk of falling behind, and are checking the impact of that support.”

KES saw a 12 percentage point drop in the number of pupils who got the ‘gold standard’ of five A* to C GCSE grades, including English and maths, this summer, down to 40 per cent.

It is in the process of becoming an academy, sponsored by the College of West Anglia, which will take it out of local authority control.

Mr Howard’s report said: “Changes to the leadership of the school’s houses are helping staff work together more effectively to support students who face significant challenges. Systems to monitor the quality of teaching are giving school leaders a more accurate understanding of how much of it is good or better.

“Recently appointed senior leaders are intervening swiftly to improve the quality of teaching when that is necessary.

“Staff welcome the changes that you are making, and value the support they receive to improve aspects of their teaching and meet their challenging targets. They share the high degree of ambition you have for the students.”

The report added: “Attendance rates for some groups of students are moving towards the national average but the impact of new strategies to reduce students’ absence is not yet clear.”

The report concluded that the school’s action plan for change was fit for purpose.

It said: “Progress towards some of the school improvement plan’s priorities has been faster than expected. The school should amend the plan to reflect this, clarify the arrangements that will be used to check progress and assess its impact, and ensure remaining timescales for improvement are sufficiently ambitious.”

Mr Douglass said: “I was really pleased with the results of the monitoring visit and the journey has started for us. It reflects the turnaround and progress we feel we have made.”

The report said the local authority (Norfolk County Council) had provided a “good deal” of assistance to the school, coaching school leaders, supporting teachers to improve and working to develop strategies to raise attendance.

However, the statement of action produced by the council “does not fully explain the actions that would be take n to meet some objectives and suggests some timescales for improvement that are not sufficiently rapid.” The local authority’s statement of action was deemed not fit for purpose.

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