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School placed in special measures
THE headteacher of a failing Tidworth school has vowed to make immediate improvements after it was placed in special measures.
Zouch Primary School has been judged as inadequate by Ofsted inspectors who visited the school on January 30 and 31.
Headteacher Kevin Parker said: “All teachers and support staff are as one in their efforts to turn around this judgement and lead the school in rapid and sustainable improvement.”
The report found that pupils do not make enough progress and are not achieving the standards they are capable of in reading, writing and maths, due to inadequate teaching.
Inspectors said leaders cannot plan for improvement effectively because they do not have an accurate view of how well each pupil is doing.
Mr Parker said an immediate action plan has been put in place, as well as a medium-term plan supported by Wiltshire Council.
And the school is set to become an academy, a process the governing body had already begun last October.
“The work to address these issues began even before the Ofsted inspection,” said Mr Parker.
“Every day we have been working on all four areas and making major steps forward. The impact is that the quality of teaching has moved significantly and rapidly forward since the Ofsted,” he added.
Inspectors commented that children were put off reading by the poor quality of books and not being able to choose what to read.
But Mr Parker said £5,000 has already been spent on new books, with plans to buy even more, and teaching assistants are now giving children a greater choice of books.
The school, which has an above average population of pupils from military families and pupils with special educational needs, was commended for its polite and respectful pupils, who enjoy good relationships and value each other’s different backgrounds.
Inspectors also said children in the nursery have a positive start to their early education and make good progress.
“Pupils are happy, friendly and enjoy school,” said Mr Parker. “The vast majority of our parents would recommend this school to others.
“However, we all recognise that this is not enough for our pupils, who deserve the best teaching and learning possible. Many improvements have already taken place since the inspection and more will follow.”