A BOOST in rating from Ofsted for Mountford Manor Primary School is about more than just a number on a page for one of the hardest-to-shift schools in Swindon.

Nick Capstick, CEO of The White Horse Federation, the multi-academy trust which sponsors the school, said Mountford was notorious throughout the industry as a poor performer.

In an inspection which took place in early September, inspectors found the Bothwell Road school was now considered good, rather than requiring improvement, as had been the case in 2012.

Mr Capstick said: “This is an outstanding achievement. For years it has been known as a hard-to-shift school.

“This isn’t just about moving from a three (requires improvement) to a two (good), this is a phenomenal achievement for a school which has struggled.

“Just a few years ago, just as we took over the school, it was in the bottom 200 of all schools in the UK.

“Failure has been endemic and systemic for years. This school has habitually failed to perform and is now performing at a good standard. Ofsted has raised the bar too.

“This is not a good standard in comparison to two years ago. These are enhanced standards.

“This is down to strong leadership. Lauren Connor (executive principal) has put in some significant, magnificent work.

“The new curriculum has worked and I think there has been engagement with the community. The workforce has been committed too.”

In the report from the watchdog, which was published yesterday, inspectors said: “A strong and effective working partnership between the school and the White Horse Federation has helped support the improvements made.

“Senior leaders have ensured that all teachers are working together to raise pupils’ achievement.

“Pupils enter nursery and reception with skills and abilities below those expected for their ages. They make good progress and this provides a good start for Key Stage 1.

“The action of the leadership team to improve teaching has resulted in pupils making good progress through Key Stage 2, especially in reading and mathematics.

“Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a great strength of the school. Pupils’ behaviour is good.

“Pupils have a positive attitude to their work and they are respectful to each other, staff and visitors to the school. They feel safe at the school and they know who to talk to should they have any concerns.

“Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the atmosphere at the school and how it has changed in the last 18 months.”