Standards rising again at Whalley school

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A village primary school is on the road to recovery after being praised in its most recent Ofsted report.

Whalley Primary School plummeted from “outstanding” a few years ago to “requires improvement” after inspectors visited the school in November last year.

It is now just a matter of time until we get Whalley Primary School back on track and where it needs to be

Chairman of governors Mr David Borland

However, in a relatively short time, staff, governors and pupils have taken necessary steps to turn the school around. Newly-appointed headteacher Mr Richard Blackburn, who was previously the assistant headteacher at the Church Lane School, has focussed on tackling areas of poor performance identified in the last inspection.

Ofsted inspector Mr Mark Williams visited the school on March 6th and commented: “Leaders and governors accepted fully the findings of the November inspection and as a result, they have acted with determination to bring about improvement.

“Teaching quality is improving and leaders have ensured teachers are better focussed on the needs of their pupils than in the past. Pupils’ writing is showing signs of improvement. Sentences and paragraphs are interesting. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are also improving, not least because teachers are more adept at identifying errors and getting pupils to correct them.”

Mr Williams added: “While teaching quality is improving, it is not doing so consistently across the school. While leaders’ records of teaching quality and work in pupils’ books identify the right strengths and weaknesses, the rigour in which steps are taken to bring about improvements is not always as strong as in best cases.”

The Inspector explained that the school had to take further action to strengthen teaching quality, to then be reviewed in a more timely fashion and inform leaders where improvements have been made or where further support is required.

Reacting to the findings, chairman of governors Mr David Borland said: “The governors are very pleased with the outcome of the visit from the HMI. It is now just a matter of time until we get Whalley Primary School back on track and where it needs to be.”