'Reasonable progress' at 'inadequate' Radcliffe school forced to become academy

INSPECTORS have reported that “reasonable progress” is being made at Radcliffe Primary School which will become an academy in January.

The latest Ofsted visit comes after inspectors judged the school in Coronation Road to be “inadequate” in May last year and placed it in special measures.

Last year Ofsted found pupils’ attainment, the school’s leadership and teaching quality lacking but parents and teachers argued the school had received one bad report and would be able to improve.

The report led the Department of Education to decide to turn the school into an academy – with the conversion set to take place on January 1 with Bury College the lead sponsor.

The school has been subject to four monitoring inspections with the most recent taking place this October when inspectors found “reasonable progress” was being made.

Inspector Eileen Mulgrew found since the previous inspection in July a higher proportion of pupils were reaching or exceeding the nationally expected levels in reading and writing.

The report also stated pupils leaving Year Two this July have made rapid strides in their learning, making up for slower learning in the past.

However, Ms Mulgrew wrote the school was yet to build on the swifter progress noted in her earlier visit and said in some lessons work was similar for the whole class, reflecting low expectations for some pupils.

Headteacher Tim Power said the school was embracing everything it could ahead of the change in January and staff were determined to be positive about what had been offered.

He said: “The relationship with our sponsor, Bury College, seems to be very fruitful – it is an outstanding further education establishment and a key part of the local community.

“When the rebrand takes place we will be keeping our own name, uniform and logo as it is really important for the children they retain that identity.

“The school’s outdoor provision will be improved and wireless internet connectivity will be installed across the site so new technology can be put in place.”

October’s Ofsted report documented how Mr Power had led Radcliffe Primary through an unsettled time while maintaining staff morale and was resolute in wanting the best for pupils and improving performance.

Ms Mulgrew added: “Systems for checking the effectiveness of the school have been developed and leaders have monitored the performance of the school.

“It is now vital for this information to be supported by observations of teaching in the classroom so leaders have a complete picture of the strengths and weaknesses in teaching and plan for swifter overall improvement.”

Mr Power said it was clear the school had improved since March 2012 and staff would strive to achieve good or better in future Ofsted inspections.

He added: “Since that original inspection last May we have done everything we could to put in place what Ofsted asked for and the improvements we have seen are down to the hard work and dedication of staff, children and parents.”

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