Braunton school still needs special measures

A Braunton primary school still needs special measures despite the good start made by its new head teacher. Gill Gillett took over at Southmead Primary School last term. Previously, she was head of Bishops Tawton Primary, which Ofsted said was an outsta

A Braunton primary school still needs special measures despite the good start made by its new head teacher.

Gill Gillett took over at Southmead Primary School last term.

Previously, she was head of Bishops Tawton Primary, which Ofsted said was an outstanding school and highlighted her outstanding leadership.

Inspectors who visited Southmead praised the good efforts she had made during the summer term and the good start she had made in identifying some key changes required to secure improvement.


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But lead inspector Daniel Towl says that - in spite of Mrs Gillett's efforts so far - Southmead still needs special measures to improve because the school is not delivering an acceptable standard of education.

He says the school has suffered three years in which pupils' achievements have been declining and urgent measures need to be taken to ensure they improve.

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Mrs Gillett said that was already happening with consultants from the education authority advising on English, maths and Early Years' provision.

She said during the autumn term she would be joining the advisers in observing lessons throughout the school and ensuring the teachers knew exactly what every child had to do to improve their learning.

Each child's learning goals would be regularly communicated to parents so the whole school community was involved in raising standards.

Mrs Gillett said staff at the school had had to cope with an immense amount of changes over the past few years and a lack of clarity, communication and continuity over time had contributed to the Ofsted finding.

But she added: "They are keen to build on our foundations to raise standards and to ensure children at this school have a positive learning experience with staff who enjoy challenges and who have clear direction from school leaders and managers."

The Ofsted report says governors had not always challenged the school leadership as strongly as they might because of a lack of understanding about how well the school was performing.

Roy Lucas, who took over as chairman of governors last term, said: "I am kept much better informed now and I shall certainly be able to challenge Gill and the staff in the future."

Mr Lucas said he was sure the entire school community would pull together to ensure standards were swiftly raised.

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