Stevenage school improves its ‘serious weaknesses’ after Ofsted inspection

Ofsted has raised the schools rating from inadequate (grade four) to requiring improvement (grade th

Ofsted has raised the schools rating from inadequate (grade four) to requiring improvement (grade three). - Credit: Archant

A school is “moving forward” according to its new headteacher after progressing from a series of Ofsted inspections which found serious weaknesses to one which has deemed the facility requires improvement.

Louise Shuttleworth took over as headteacher at Featherstone Wood Primary School in Stevenage at the start of the January term this year.

A series of monitoring inspections following an Ofsted result of inadequate – the lowest rating possible – in December 2012 had found the school to have serious weaknesses.

The latest monitoring inspection report, published in December last year, said: “The school has suffered from a high turnover of staff, particularly at senior leadership level.

“A different senior leadership team has led the school each term and the majority of governors are new.

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“The frequency of these changes has hampered the rate of improvement towards the school’s removal from serious weaknesses.”

Since Miss Shuttleworth took the helm, Ofsted has raised the school’s rating from inadequate (grade four) to requiring improvement (grade three).

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An inspection report said Miss Shuttleworth has “introduced good systems for keeping a close eye on how well pupils are doing and is taking effective action to improve the quality of teaching”.

The report said the school requires improvement because pupils’ progress in maths is too slow because they are not taught clear methods of calculation; pupils are not challenged to improve their writing skills when writing at length; and teachers’ marking of pupils’ work is not showing how they can improve across all subjects.

Miss Shuttleworth said: “We are very aware we still have a lot of work to do and our aim is to be a solid good at the next inspection. We can already see great strides in that direction.

“The Ofsted result is very positive for the whole school community. It shows we are moving forward and the standard of education has improved for our pupils.

“I am delighted for all the staff who have worked so hard to turn the school around.”

She added: “We have new leaders in the school who are driving up standards and holding everyone to account.

“We are very much looking forward to our new deputy headteacher, Ben Hodson, starting after Easter.”

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