Whittlesey school is told it must not employ newly qualified teachers

New Road School in Whittlesey

New Road School in Whittlesey - Credit: Archant

A school that was slammed by Ofsted for having poor attendance and not reaching targets has been told it should not employ newly qualified teachers.

New Road in Whittlesey was put into special measures last year and told the trust’s statement of action and improvement plan were not fit for purpose.

The school is now raising its game but Government inspector Linda Killman said: “Having considered all the evidence I strongly recommend that the school does not seek to appoint newly qualified teachers.

“Leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.

“Pupils’ prior underachievement resulted in unacceptably low starting points at the start of this school year,” she said.

“The gap between where pupils are and where they should be in relation to national expectation is narrowing.

“With better teaching most pupils are catching up rapidly in reading writing and mathematics,” she said and although targets for mainstream students are improving, those with special needs are still lagging behind.”

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Earlier this year the Whittlesea Learning trust passed a resolution for the school to transfer to a new sponsor, the Sir Harry Smith Academy Trust, from July 2016.

One teacher has left since the last inspection in September 2015 and replaced with a new teacher who is the leader in early years.

The SENco has resigned and a new lead for special needs has been appointed.

In addition the school is increasing its admissions from 20 to 30 pupils from September creating one more class.

Ms Killman said that leadership was strengthening and pupils were being set more challenging work.

Lunchtime supervisors were managing pupil behaviour and encouraging positive play, she said, and relationships is classrooms were strong which promoted confidence in pupils to learn.

Older pupils told how work had become more challenging and Ms Killman noted that teachers were planning in advance so that new skills were learnt in the right order.

The match of work for pupil’s differing needs remained variable, she said but noted that phonics teaching was improving so children learned in a way that was fun.