King Charles headteacher absent after school put in special measures: FULL REPORT (From This is The West Country)
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King Charles headteacher absent after school put in special measures: FULL REPORT
3:00pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Cornwall
Parents of pupils at a Falmouth primary school are being called to a crisis meeting this evening (Wednesday) after inspectors damned the quality of teaching.
The 435-pupil King Charles school in Western Terrace has been put in “Special Measures” and headteacher Heather Taylor replaced.
In a letter to parents, chair of governors Fiona Osman pledges a “robust plan of action to address areas for improvement” identified in the Ofsted report, including:
- Teaching is consistently not good enough
- Teachers’ marking misses important mistakes
- Some teachers do not have high enough expectations of pupils
Mrs Osman is urging parents to attend the meeting in the school hall at 6.30pm this evening to ask questions and raise any other concerns.
Claire Fortey, the Head of St Francis School in Falmouth, has been brought in as an Interim Acting Headteacher to help the school recover.
“Whilst this is a challenging time for the school I have every confidence that King Charles has the capacity for rapid and sustained improvement,” she said. “All of the staff, governors and children are working extremely hard on formulating and implementing a focused action plan and I feel privileged to be asked to support the team towards future success.”
The Ofsted inspectors rated the school as “inadequate” on three out of four measures – the achievement of pupils, the quality of teaching and on its leadership and management. The fourth measure, behaviour and safety of the pupils, was rated as “requires improvement.”
Heather Taylor, who had been headteacher since 2006, could not be reached for comment. When she took over at King Charles, the school was rated as “satisfactory” – a classification which was last year redefined to mean “requires improvement.” The latest Ofsted report therefore means that even allowing for this redefinition, inspectors think the school is worse today than it was seven years ago.
The Ofsted report is particularly critical of the school’s ability to teach mathematics. “The headteacher has not managed the performance of teachers sufficiently well to ensure that teaching improves,” it said. “Although some teachers have not been allowed to progress onto the upper pay scale, teachers are not held fully accountable for the inconsistency in achievement of the pupils they teach.”
Cornwall Council refused to say if Mrs Taylor was still in receipt of her salary or if she would be returning to the school.
One parent, Marc Laundon from Falmouth, asked “Why has it taken so long for this to all to come to a head? Why has our children’s education had to be compromised before the authorities are finally doing something about it? The last Ofsted report was only satisfactory, now they are in special measures! Heather Taylor can probably get another job, somewhere: our children only have one chance at their education.”
A council statement acknowledged the criticisms in the report, but said it also highlighted a number of positive achievements, including the behaviour of pupils and their attitudes towards learning. “The Ofsted report recognised that ‘pupils are proud of their school and they behave well around the school,” said the statement. “They are respectful and greet visitors politely. They are confident in their discussions and are extremely polite and courteous to each other and their teachers. The care of pupils is a strength and pupils are happy at school.”
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