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Red Lodge primary school aiming for ‘rapid’ improvements

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St Christophers Primary School Red Lodge ENGANL00120130614160711
St Christophers Primary School Red Lodge ENGANL00120130614160711

Bosses at a struggling West Suffolk primary school say it is going in the ‘right direction’ for the removal of special measures, while vowing to focus on ‘achieving improvements as soon as possible’.

St Christopher’s CEV Primary School, in Red Lodge, was put into special measures by Ofsted following an inspection in October last year.

In its first monitoring inspection, Her Majesty’s Inspector Wendy Varney criticised the school action plan as ‘unfit for purpose’ with objectives that were ‘frequently too wooly’.

Duncan Reed, acting headteacher, said this judgement was due to a lack of ‘specific milestones’ in the action plan.

“We didn’t give precise deadlines, which we have since rectified,” he said.

“The inspection was what we expected, overall very positive, setting the ground rules clearly.

“We have a lot of work to be done, but we are going in the right direction.

“We now clearly know the way forward to improve things, and we are working towards our agreed targets.”

In a letter to Mr Reed, Ms Varney said the school action plan had been revised with the new senior leadership team to include ‘all the key actions’.

She praised Mr Reed, acting headteacher since October, for ‘sensibly’ taking ‘immediate action to improve safeguaring procedures’ and recognised his more ‘stringent approach’ to employing staff.

Despite criticising Suffolk County Council for its ‘unrealistic’ costs to support the school, she was satisfied with its statement of action.

Mr Reed said the school was prepared for regular visits from the council and termly inspections by Ofsted.

“To put a time frame on it, we have to show the capacity to move forward rapidly – that is our first priority,” he said.

“The targets we’re focusing on and working towards are raising achievement standards, improving the quality of teaching and learning, behaviour and safety, and recreating the leadership and management.

“From our first meeting we know we need to be more precise with our planning and actions towards achieving improvements as soon as possible.”