Brighton school encouraged by Ofsted monitoring visit

Posted On 13 Nov 2016 at 1:32 pm

The head teacher of a Brighton school has told parents that a monitoring visit by Ofsted was a positive experience.

Alex Wingham, acting head of St Martin’s CE Primary School, won praise from schools inspector Simon Hughes after the official inspection.

The visit came almost a year after St Martin’s, in Hartington Road, was rated by Ofsted as requiring improvement.

Mr Wingham wrote to parents about the inspection and said: “I am pleased to say it was a very positive experience. Our last inspection was more difficult due to the transition of staff into new roles.

“However, this time we were more than ready to show the inspector the fantastic work we do as a community for the children.”

St Martin's School welcome sign
Dr Hughes said in his letter to Mr Wingham that he recognised the progress being made by children at St Martin’s and praised the creative work to improve performance in maths.

He said: “The visit was the first monitoring inspection since the school was judged to require improvement following the inspection in November 2015.

“Senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified at the last inspection in order to become a good school.

“The school should take further action to develop leadership capacity in the school by extending the responsibilities and influence of those leading phases and subjects (and) extending the impressive work undertaken to improve pupils’ outcomes in mathematics to other areas of the curriculum.

“Governors have tried unsuccessfully three times to appoint a substantive head teacher.

“You continue to provide strong leadership of the school as the acting head teacher.

“You recognise that over the last year you have acquired and strengthened the skills necessary to lead the school into the next stage of its development.

“Other leaders have shared the task of improving the school and have done so admirably. You work well as a team.

“Your ambition and enthusiasm is clear. Staff respond well to your positive approach. Consequently, standards of teaching, behaviour and care have increased considerably across the year.

“You recognise now, especially with an increasing number of pupils on roll, that it is time to expand the leadership.

“You are rightly planning to encourage serving teachers to take on phase and subject leadership roles.

“You showed me many ways in which creativity is used in teachers’ planning of other parts of the curriculum.

“Of particular note is the extensive range of activities and techniques developed to support pupils’ learning in mathematics.

“This was necessary because, historically, results had not been good enough.

“Pupils told me that learning is fun in mathematics. They told me that one of the best things about coming to school is mathematics.

“You showed me that all this work contributed to the much-improved outcomes for pupils in 2016.

“Leaders provided me with similarly detailed evidence of the school’s work to improve attendance. This has resulted in much-reduced absence.

“You continue to work effectively at reducing the diminishing number of pupils who are persistently absent from school.

“You have been ably supported by the experienced and knowledgeable chair of the governing body. Governance has strengthened considerably since the inspection.

“You have been skilful in selecting the support you need. You benefit from a local authority and a diocesan director of education keen to support your improvement work.”

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