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'Inadequate' school is making progress

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 05, 2014

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A NORTH CORNWALL primary school which was rated as "inadequate" by Ofsted inspectors last year has been told it is making progress

Judy Gidzewicz, executive head teacher at Delabole Community Primary School, has been told by government inspector Ian Hancock that the school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.

Mr Hancock visited the 130-pupil school for two days at the end of January on behalf of Ofsted.

It was the third monitoring inspection since the school became subject to special measures following an inspection in March 2013 and was issued with a full list of areas for improvement.

In a letter to Mrs Gidzewicz, Mr Hancock said: "Having considered all the evidence I am of the opinion that at this time the school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.

"The school may appoint one newly qualified teacher before the next monitoring inspection."

Mrs Gidzewicz told the Cornish Guardian that she was delighted at the latest report.

"I am really pleased by the commitment of the staff and the hard work of the pupils and parents.

"It has been a real team effort and I have had a lot of support from the parents. Delabole is a lovely village school."

Mrs Gidzewicz, who had only been in the post for six months at the time of last year's critical report, said the significance of being told that they could appoint a newly qualified teacher was that it was a benchmark of the school's progress.

With five teachers in place for the five classes and 130 pupils she said they were not making any new appointments.

"We have a full staff performing very well," she said.

Last May Ofsted inspectors said it had concerns over some aspects of leadership and management, the quality of teaching and the behaviour of some pupils at Delabole Community Primary School.

They also said the school was below standard for English and maths.

The report highlighted a number of positive achievements, including the progress made by pupils in the reception and Year 1 class.

Attainment at the end of Key Stage 1, it said, had been rising for the past three years, and was above average.

But it concluded that the school needed external support and training and suggested the governors must take special measures to ensure that the school offered a satisfactory level of education.

These issues were addressed in an action plan developed by staff and governors in conjunction with the local authority.

The report noted the "significant changes" introduced by Mrs Gidzewicz since her arrival in September, 2012.

"The executive head teacher and members of the governing body know what needs to improve.

"Senior leaders, staff, governors and volunteers have made a good start to bringing about improvements."

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