Headteacher praised for school’s ‘rapid change for the better’

Easebourne headteacher Johnny Culley
Easebourne headteacher Johnny Culley

A headteacher has been praised for bringing about “rapid change for the better” at his school.

Easebourne Primary, in Wheelbarrow Castle, underwent a two-day inspection in October and the findings were published on November 15.

Easebourne Primary School has been rated 'good' by Ofsted

Easebourne Primary School has been rated 'good' by Ofsted

After being rated ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted in 2014, staff were delighted to see their school rated ‘good’ this time.

In his report, lead inspector David Harris said: “The headteacher, deputy headteacher and assistant headteacher lead well. In the past two years, since the previous inspection, they have been effective in changing the culture of the school.”

That change saw teaching improve, the progress of the children improve, governance improve, and safety procedures improve.

The report added: “In the 2016 phonics check in Year 1, pupils reached above-average levels, improving significantly from below average attainment in 2014.”

Mr Harris recognised that pupils had made good progress in maths and writing and excellent progress in reading. He also said he was very impressed with the “exceptional manners and the community spirit” shown by all children.

In his recommendations for future improvement, he said Easebourne needed to raise the quality of teaching to ‘outstanding’, to ensure more children, including the most able, made better than expected progress in writing.

The report was greeted with delight by headteacher Johnny Culley, though he recognised there was no room for complacency.

Mr Culley, who was appointed after the July 2014 inspection, said: “This is a very encouraging report, one which acknowledges the hard work of the staff, the governors, our volunteers, the children and our parents and one of which the community can be proud.

“Whilst it celebrates our successes, it is also very helpful in indicating where we might look to improve next.

“The inspectors felt that our self-evaluation was accurate and, encouragingly, their recommendations solidly coincide with our own key focus areas in this year’s school development plan, namely the progress of our children, including the most able, in writing – particularly through the extension of their writing skills in other areas of the curriculum and the teachers’ expectations of the children’s handwriting and presentation.”

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