Swindon AdvertiserSchool is on the way up (From Swindon Advertiser)

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School is on the way up

A HIGHWORTH school is taking promising steps in the right direction after Ofsted inspectors paid their first visit since it ordered a required improvement last November.

Eastrop Infant School, which converted to academy status in 2012, was identified by the inspectorate as needing work before the school can be viewed as good. The latest report said progress was being made with provision of the pupil premium.

In its last inspection, in July 2008, the school was rated outstanding. It has now taken its first steps to regaining that status with a promising report released yesterday by the watchdog.

In a letter to headteacher Sue Marshall, Ofsted inspector Robert Pyner wrote: “Senior leaders have worked well to develop the system for tracking pupils’ progress.

“This is already providing useful data on the achievement of groups of pupils and enabling the development of appropriate support for those who are in danger of underachieving.

“The work on improving the teaching of phonics with teachers and teaching assistants is well planned and is beginning to show some impact on outcomes.

“Governors have developed plans to improve their role with the creation of a working group to review the school’s action plan.

“This group meets with senior leaders regularly to monitor and evaluate progress made against the action plan.

“Furthermore, a review of the work of the governing body has been commissioned from the local authority and this has begun.

“The commitment of governors and senior leaders to improve the school is clear and there are strong working relationships at all levels.

“Groups of governors are working on particular aspects of the action plan, for example the analysis of data, but there is scope to develop understanding and challenge further through closer work with senior leaders on the impact of teaching and the monitoring of pupils’ achievement.”

Mr Pyner made his monitoring inspection of the school on January 22. He found the school did need to take further action in several areas to continue its improvement.

He said the school must ensure staff and governors are familiar with the findings of the Ofsted survey reports which assist schools with improvements.

He also said: “The school should take further action to strengthen the school action plan so that activities undertaken to improve the school are measured against more clearly defined success criteria.

“The school should develop the plans for governors to work with school leaders to ensure a deeper understanding of the impact of the work of the school particularly in terms of the quality of teaching and the achievement by pupils.

“The school should ensure that the planned support for the school from external providers develops robust reviews of the school’s progress and clear guidance for further improvement with a focus on the quality of teaching and the achievement of pupils.”

Eastrop Infant School declined to comment.

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