Head's action pledge follows critical report

Basingstoke Gazette: Head's action pledge follows critical report Head's action pledge follows critical report

A BASINGSTOKE junior school has been put in “special measures” and graded “inadequate”.

The damning verdict has come from education watchdog Ofsted, whose inspectors graded three out of four areas of Four Lanes Community Junior School, in Hanmore Road, Chineham, as “inadequate”.

Pupils’ achievement, the quality of teaching and the leadership and management were all given the lowest rating, while the behaviour and safety of pupils was said to “require improvement”.

Inspectors visited the school on October 2 and 3, and a report published on November 25, said it has been put in “special measures” for various reasons, including because pupil progress in maths is inadequate and the governing body does not hold the school to account.

Several strengths of the school were given in the report, including that the quality of teaching and learning in English has improved and pupils feel safe at school and are “well looked after”.

The report said that in September 2012, new headteacher Corinne Martinez brought in a “more robust system to track and monitor the progress.”

It added: “The quality of teaching over time is inadequate as it does not ensure that all pupils make rapid enough progress. As a result, pupils underachieve at Four Lanes and do not attain as highly as they should.”

The school, which has 319 pupils, was previously inspected in November 2011 and graded as “satisfactory”.

The new report said that issues raised during the previous inspection had not been addressed effectively, resulting in the quality of teaching and pupil progress not improving.

It added: “Allied to weaknesses in governance, this means that the school is not demonstrating that it can improve further.”

Inspectors highlighted that the school does not have a full-time special educational needs co-ordinator, resulting in support for disabled pupils and those with special educational needs not being “effectively managed”.

However, it said the school is “committed to the equality of opportunity” and has relied on temporary appointments to help out.

Inspectors noted that Mrs Martinez has “rightly focused on raising the quality of teaching and learning” and that “robust actions to eradicate weak teaching has resulted in high staff turnover.” However, the school has struggled to recruit high-quality staff which has been a concern for some parents.

The local authority has viewed the school as “high priority” for a number of years, but the report said “the school has only been open to that assistance since the arrival of the new headteacher.”

Inspectors recommended that an “external review of governance” is carried out.

Mrs Martinez described the verdict as “disappointing”, but added: “I am encouraged that their report confirms that progress is being made.

“Standards in English improved in 2013. However, there has been insufficient time for significant impact in other subjects across the school.”

She pointed out that attainment at the end of Key Stage 2 overall remains high, and well above national average.

Mrs Martinez added: “The past year has been challenging but I strongly believe that we are turning a corner. Moving forward, I intend to build on the steady progress we are making to raise standards in teaching and learning at Four Lanes.

“I would like to assure parents that we are determined to secure improvements and to move the school out of special measures as quickly as possible.”

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