Axminster Primary Academy could do better, says report

PUBLISHED: 15:02 11 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:54 11 November 2017

Axminster Primary Academy. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Axminster Primary Academy. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

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School is told it needs to improve in all key areas by Ofsted inspectors

Axminster Primary Academy needs to improve in all key areas, according to education officials.

An Ofsted report published this week criticises the school’s leadership and management and its quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

It also calls for action to improve behaviour and reduce the number of school absences.

But inspectors say the assessment followed a turbulent period in 2015 when school results at both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 were annulled due to maladministration during statutory testing.

They said a period of staff and parental unrest followed, and pupils’ achievement and behaviour declined.

And inspectors stressed that since the appointment of Ross Minton as the new head, last March, there have been ‘tangible improvements in behaviour, the quality of teaching and work in pupils’ books.’

There were a number of shortcomings highlighted in the report. Standards reached by pupils in reading writing and mathematics by the time they leave Year 6 have been below the national average.

Teachers do not have the subject knowledge necessary to meet the full requirements of the national curriculum.

Teaching gives insufficient emphasis to boys’ handwriting, grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve have not been high enough and pupils’ attendance remains below average.

But inspectors said leaders have a clear understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses and that all staff are ambitious for the school.

Staff feel well supported and a passionate climate for further improvement exists.

During the last academic year, pupils’ progress across the school in all subjects was rapid. Attainment is rising quickly.

Mr Minton told The Herald: “I am pleased that the Ofsted report has cited that leaders of the Acorn Multi-Academy Trust ‘sought to quickly establish renewed leadership, drive and vision’ after the previous turbulent period.

He added: “It is this drive and passion that will move Axminster Community Primary Academy forward and ensure that children receive the outstanding education they deserve.”

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