THE headteacher of a struggling Canvey school has come out fighting after Ofsted inspectorsdowngraded its official status from “good” to “requires improvement”.

Head Daren Partridge said Leigh Beck Junior School had undergone several changes in the past twoyears.

The only reason the rating had slipped, he added,wasbecause the schoolhadfallen short inonecategory – for pupils’ achievement.

That had been enough for Ofsted to change the Point Road school’s overall rating.

As well as calling for improvements to pupil achievement, the inspectors’ report highlights quality of teaching as an area which needs addressing.

They also noted poor levels of grammar and punctuation and said achievementwasnot satisfactory.

Lead Ofsted inspector Michael Sutherland-Harper’s report goes on: “Strategies to improve writing are still being put in place in some classes. Work is not always challenging or practical enough in mathematics.

“Pupils do not have enough opportunities to demonstrate their understanding by explainingwhat theyhave learned.”

However, he praised the behaviour of pupils’ keeness to learn and Mr Partridge’s knowledge of the school.

His report was published just twomonths after Ofsted rated the ajdoining Leigh Beck Infant SchoolandNursery“inadequate”.

In an open letter to parents, posted on the school website, Mr Partridge says: “Our goal is to be ‘outstanding’.Wehavehighexpectations for everyone of our pupils.

Our aim is to build confidence and inspire our children to achieve their full potential in a happy and supportive learning environment.

The school has undergone significant changes since our last inspection, in February2011.

“We have a strong team in place including supportive governors, a determined leadership and a hardworking, dedicated staff. We have made changes to our teaching staff and the quality of learning has improved throughout the school.

“We are delighted the latest report recognises these advances and the impact our efforts are beginning to have.”

He goes on to thank staff and governors for their “hard work, dedication and commitment”.

Ofsted has recently said another Canvey school, William Read Primary also requires improvement, while its June 2013 inspection of Montgomerie Primary School, Thundersley, led it to be rated “inadequate.