School rockets to good report
APRIMARY school has jumped two places to an Ofsted rating of ‘good’ with inspectors praising the ‘enthusiastic leadership’.
Three years ago, when Kathryn Bishop took over as head of St Mary’s RC Primary in Tong Lane, Bacup, she vowed to take the school on a ‘ journey to excellence’.
Prior to her full-time appointment at the school, there had been six acting headteachers. Just nine months into her new role, Ofsted rated St Mary’s as ‘inadequate’.
However, when HMI Inspector Sue Eastwood and Ofsted Inspector Doreen Davenport visited recently they found a transformed school.
The report says: “Leaders and the governing body have turned the school around. It now provides a good quality of education.
“The headteacher has made effective, bold decisions. She has admirably led by example and played a central part in getting the school back on track to offer the very best education to pupils.”
Mrs Bishop said: “In September 2017 we started with a new teaching team – seven new teachers, two of whom are also assistant heads.
“Five weeks into the new academic year, Ofsted had a monitoring inspection and they could see the improvements we had made and realised we needed longer before a full inspection.”
Exactly 12 months later the school had a full inspection and received ‘good’ for all five key areas.
Mrs Bishop said: “I am very proud of the children and the teaching assistants who have been here for the longest period of time as they are the backbone of our school.
“The children shone and showed the inspectors their true personalities and were very keen to help.
“We are continuing on our journey to excellence.”
Inspectors noted: “Compared to the time of the previous inspection, behaviour has been transformed. Pupils conduct themselves well.
“Improvements in their self-confidence have resulted in them being delightfully polite and well mannered.”
They found children so eager to learn that they did not want to leave their lesson and have a break.
Rating the quality of teaching, learning and assessment as ‘good’, inspectors noted the significant improvements, high expectations and consistent approach to teaching English and maths across the school.
Last year a religious inspection also found the school to be ‘good’.
●● Pupils Bart, Olivia, Serena and Aiden spell out the result with headteacher Kathryn Bishop