A FAILING school is making progress to get out of special measures, said Ofsted.
Leigh Beck Infant School and Nursery, on Canvey, went from outstanding to inadequate in only three years and was told it had “drastically declined” in December 2013.
Inspectors visited the school, in Point Road, for the second time since placing it in special measures. They found it “is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures”.
Executive headteacher Emma Lane was given the job of turning the school around when she joined in December. She is also headteacher at Northwick Park Primary and Nursery, in Canvey.
Lead inspector Julie Winyard said staff had “worked tirelessly”
to improve the school.
Ofsted praised the progress and improvement of pupils in Years 1 and 2, but found work still needed to be done with reception and nursery classes.
Mrs Winyard said: “The outstanding leadership and relentless drive for improvement of the executive headteacher, very ably supported by senior leaders from the academy sponsor school and the deputy headteacher, has resulted in improved pupil achievement in Years 1 and 2.
“Due to a legacy of inaccurate teacher assessment and changes in teachers in reception, improvement is not as evident here.”
Changes to staffing have been made, with new teachers set to start in September.
Inspectors found pupils behaved respectfully and kindly.
Mrs Winyard said: “Pupils behave well in the classroom even when teaching is not good, because they are so keen and eager to learn. Also, parents are very supportive and always help with homework.”
Executive headteacher Mrs Lane welcomed the report and praised staff and parents for their support.
She said: “I’m pleased with the report and changes are being made.”
OFSTED told the school in November to “eliminate inadequate teaching”.
By the end of the summer termeight teachers and two support staff will have left.
Two temporary teachers took over reception at Easter, but Ofsted inspectors said: “In the nursery there have been no changes in staff and those in charge have had good advice and training from the academy sponsor school’s early years specialists.
“However, they have not implemented this advice and as a result, the teaching and pupils’ progress remains inadequate.”
New staff have been appointed to run the nursery and will start work in September alongside other new teachers.
Mrs Lane would not confirm if teachers had resigned or been sacked. She said: “Teachers are moving on. There will be four new teachers in foundation stage in September with three of them from Northwick Park.”
A SERIES of changes are being made to turn the school around.
As well as recruiting new teachers, there is a renewed focus on training, ready for the introduction of a new curriculum.
Executive headteacher Mrs Lane has revised the timetable to maximise teaching time and says work to refurbish the nursery and the school will take place over the summer.
The school is in the process of converting to academy status, subject to consultation.
Mrs Lane said: “Because the school is small, we will be converting to an academy in 2015 and will come under the management of Northwick Park.
“I shall continue to work across both schools.”
Ofsted said Northwick Park Primary School, in Third Avenue, was a “good” school, following an inspection in March.