Hampshire education chief believes failing primary school can bounce back (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Hampshire education chief believes failing primary school can bounce back
HAMPSHIRE’S education chief believes a failing primary school can bounce back from a damning verdict from watchdogs.
As previously reported, Bramley Church of England Primary School, in Bramley Lane, has been put in “special measures” by Ofsted and graded as “inadequate.”
It was the second time the school, in Bramley Lane, fell into this category, while led by headteacher Ann Berresford. Miss Berresford has now left the 410-pupil school and it is being run by acting head Lyn Downes, the headteacher of Burnham Copse Primary School, in Tadley.
Councillor Roy Perry, Hampshire’s executive member for education, said the move should raise standards. He said: “I place the emphasis on the role of the governors. We appointed a new chair of governors (at Bramley), and we are hopeful that will help.”
He pointed out that having the right headteacher leading a school is “crucial” to its success.
But he stressed that the school head is appointed by the governors. He said: “The days when the local authority made the appointment are over.”
Asked how parents can trust that standards will improve at Bramley, when it is the second time it has fallen into “special measures”, he said: “We are very aware of the problems Bramley has had and we have tried to give all the help we can to turn it around.
“This is one of the advantages of a school being within a well-run authority like Hampshire.
“We are there to give it help. A new head and new chair of governors – these are the signs that we are looking to improve things.”
He added: “Parents are sometimes reluctant to be too critical of the school because their children are there and the teachers don’t want to criticise the head, who is in charge.”
The council has agreed to spend £1.6million to extend Bramley Primary School to cater for 100 more pupils. Cllr Perry is adamant that the damning Ofsted verdict will not have an adverse impact on pupil numbers, and said the building work is still going ahead as planned. He added: “Sometimes a school can turn around very quickly, and the new facilities and building work will help to change the image of the school.”