Colyton Primary fights back after critical report


Ofsted - Credit: Archant

The new head and chairman of governors at Colyton Primary School say they are already making improvements following a critical report by education inspectors.

Following a two-day visit in October, Ofsted inspectors ruled that the school is providing 'an inadequate education'.

Their inspection came just weeks after the new head of school, Claire Redwood, took up her post in September along with a number of new teachers.

The school governors also resigned earlier this term and a new governing body is now in place.

The inspectors criticised the quality of education at Colyton, the provision of learning for pupils with special educational needs (SEND) and said that bullying was not always effectively dealt with.

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But they concluded: "Important steps to improve teaching, attendance, and provision for pupils with SEND have been taken in recent weeks by the headteacher.

"The improvements to reading and maths have been led well and staff have worked hard on these things."

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Mrs Redwood said she had already drafted in expert support from staff in other schools - and the local authority - to improve the curriculum and the provision for pupils with special needs.

She said: "The staff at Colyton are brilliant and are totally committed to the children and moving forward.

"Our outgoing special needs coordinator is working with two colleagues from our partner schools to ensure provision is quickly improved.

"We have a revised bullying policy in place which has already had a number of successful outcomes and we have a member of staff working closely with the children and their families.

"Everyone is committed to bringing about swift improvements."

Governors' chairman Zoe Briant-Evans said the inspection result had come as a serious disappointment.

In a letter to parents she said: "Our school has faced some very challenging times recently, not least a high turnover of senior leadership staff.

"Despite this outcome, the staff in the school remain committed to working hard on behalf of your children, and are determined that this inspection will provide a template for future improvement.

"As you will be aware Mrs Claire Redwood has been in the role of Head of School at Colyton since September this year.

"She has made a positive impact upon the school in the short time she has been with us.

"In order to address the shortcomings identified within the report we have already got other colleagues from schools in our area supporting us, specifically with capacity and SEND."

Mrs Briant-Evans said under current Government legislation, Colyton would ultimately now have to become an academy and discussions were already under way with a number of high-performing, local multi-academy trusts or MATs with the expertise to bring about rapid improvements.

She added: "Initially governors will be asking a number of local MATs with the very highest credentials to express an interest in establishing a management partnership with our school.

"In the short term this management partnership will provide immediate support and continue the good work that Claire Redwood has started this term.

"The long term partnership for the school will be decided next year by the Regional Schools Commissioner.

"I understand that the recent Ofsted report and now the uncertainty surrounding the future of the school is very unsettling for all of us.

"Please rest assured that the governing board and staff at Colyton school are committed to providing positive outcomes for all your children."

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