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Good News for Southbroom St James

by Gerry Lynch last modified 05 Oct, 2017 05:12 PM

Wilts school gets positive progress report

A Devizes school has welcomed a report from Ofsted showing it is making rapid improvements.

Southbroom St James Academy was judged in December to have ‘serious weaknesses’. When Ofsted returned to the school in September for a monitoring inspection, they said improvement had been so rapid that parents found the school ‘unrecognisable’ when children returned for the autumn term.

Andrew Wilson, Executive Headteacher at Southbroom St James, said,  “I am delighted for my staff team, but even more for our pupils and their parents, to receive such a positive monitoring inspection report.

“I am especially pleased that inspectors found that parents were ‘overwhelmingly positive about the school’. They have been a big part of our journey of improvement and I hope other parents in the town will want to find out why they are so positive.

“Our outcomes in this year’s Key Stage 2 national tests showed significant improvements. We have appointed a group of new teachers, including middle leaders, who started last month. Inspectors found they already accurately understand the challenges facing them and bring expertise and knowledge to the school.

“We will work to ensure that we address the remaining areas which the report indicates require improvement and continue to raise standards at Southbroom St James.”

Mark Lacey, Chief Executive of the Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust, of which Southbroom St James is a part, said,  “This monitoring inspection report is good news. The inspectors recognise that Andrew, who only took up post substantively in January, has ‘wasted no time in bringing about improvements’ to Southbroom St James.

“As a trust, we were delighted that the inspectors found we were ‘providing the school with an effective mix of support and challenge’, including through setting appropriately ambitious targets for pupils’ outcomes at the end of this academic year.

“Ofsted also recognised the help which the trust has given the school, for example in brokering external support. Inspectors found our actions have ‘been positive in securing leadership and raising the quality of teaching, learning, and assessment.’

“We look forward to working with Andrew, his staff team, and parents, to ensure that Southbroom St James is rated ‘good’ at its next full inspection.”

Other key findings of the report included that:

  • leaders and managers are taking effective actions towards the removal of the serious weaknesses designation;
  • the school’s improvement plan is fit for purpose; and,
  • the trust’s statement of action is fit for purpose.

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