Headteacher praised for school turnaround

Braunton primary emerges from shadow of special measures with glowing Ofsted inspection.

A BRAUNTON primary school once deemed ‘inadequate’ has been given a clean bill of health by Ofsted inspectors.

Braunton Caen became subject to special measures in June 2008 due to ‘exceptionally low’ achievement and standards, quality of provision and leadership and management styles.

Fours years later, inspectors from the school standards watchdog found the achievement of pupils, as well as the leadership of staff, to be well above what’s expected nationally.

The report by inspectors David Edwards and Ann Henderson said: “This is a good school. The outstanding leadership demonstrated by the headteacher, senior leaders and governing body has resulted in rapid and sustained improvements in pupils’ achievements seen over the past three years.

“The quality of teaching is typically good and sometimes outstanding. Pupils feel safe. They behave in lessons, at play times and enjoy school.”

Every parent they spoke to said they would recommend the school to other families.

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Headteacher Karen Crutchfield, who took up her post in April 2007 following a period of leadership by acting headteachers, was said to have worked ‘diligently and with great skill and determination to eradicate the remnants if underachievement from previous years’.

In 2008, inspectors noted that Ms Crutchfield had identified the priorities and actions needed to bring about improvement but the pace of change had not been fully accepted by all staff, resulting in low morale.

Following the latest inspection she said: “Our school is a vibrant centre for learning with excellent facilities and with a focus on high standards, excellent opportunities and a close learning partnership with parents.

“We use the outdoor environment extensively to support learning and enjoy an excellent partnership with all local schools and our local community.

“We are supported very well by our energetic PTA and our children participate fully in their community.”

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