New head of March primary school pledges to offer ‘the best education for all our pupils’ as it recovers from Ofsted inspector’s criticism

Diane Hawkes is determined to turn around the fortunes of Burrrowmoor Primary School, March. Picture

Diane Hawkes is determined to turn around the fortunes of Burrrowmoor Primary School, March. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Recently appointed headteacher Diane Hawkes pledged to put Burrowmoor Primary School, March, back on track to deliver “the best education for all of our pupils”.

Faced with an Ofsted inspection within weeks of taking over this autumn that concluded the school still “requires improvement” she said she was determined to turn it around.

Mrs Hawkes, with 30 years of teaching experience behind her – including training as an Ofsted inspector - said: “We have so much to be proud of at Burrowmoor; however, as the report shows, the inspection came at a very early stage within our improvement journey.

“We are confident that the school is firmly moving in the right direction and with a little more time we are confident that we will become consistently ‘good’ across the school.

Slow pupil progress, a varied quality of teaching and subject leaders unclear about their role are just three reasons Burrowmoor ‘requires improvement’ according to Ofsted.

Eighteen months after its last inspection, the school has been rated as ‘requires improvement’ in four areas and ‘good’ in the fifth.

The report states that “over time, leaders have not ensured that teaching is securing consistently strong progress for all pupils”.

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Pupils’ progress in reading, writing and mathematics has been too slow, and standards are not as high as they should be and “curriculum subject leaders are unclear about their role and responsibilities.

“They are not yet monitoring the effectiveness of teaching or assessing pupils’ achievement.

“Across the school, the quality of teaching varies and not all teachers have high enough expectations of what pupils can, and should, achieve.

“In some classes, teachers do not use assessment information accurately to provide pupils, including the most able, with activities that challenge and deepen their learning; this limits their progress”.

But Ofsted believes Mrs Hawkes is securing ‘swift improvements in teaching and pupils’ achievement’.

It adds that “leaders and staff have a strong commitment to the school; their determination improve pupils’ outcomes is clear.

“There are examples of effective teaching and, in early years, children make consistently good progress, ensuring that children get off to a good start in their education”.

It adds that “progress for current pupils is improving - but many still have catching up to do” and that just 12 per cent of parents “strongly agree” that the school deals with bullying effectively.

Ofsted says the school should “improve the consistency and quality of teaching to accelerate pupils’ progress”.

The report also believes teachers must have a passion for instilling in pupils ‘a love of learning’.

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