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West Norfolk Primary taken out of Special Measures

A West Norfolk headteacher has praised pupils, staff and parents and spoken of her high hopes for her primary school following their recent Ofsted inspection.

Joanne Borley believes a good rating is now within West Lynn Primary’s grasp after Ofsted inspectors took the school out of special measures. 

Although the school gained an overall requires improvement grading, the inspectors praised the significant improvement the school has made in the last three years.

Ms Borley said: “I am pleased that this Ofsted report recognises our judgements of where the school is and recognises that we have taken significant steps from special measures in our last inspection on our journey towards outstanding. 

“I am particularly pleased that the report acknowledges the difficult journey the school has been on, the improvements that have taken place, as well as identifying the further developments the school needs to take.

“I am extremely proud of all the children in our school and appreciate the support the staff and I have received from parents, governors and trust. 

“We are on an upward trajectory and with the solid foundations we have set in place, we look forward to the future when we have further and greater successes to celebrate.”

Inspectors judged the school inadequate in 2013, which led to the St Peter’s Road school being taken over by the West Norfolk Academies Trust in 2014 and appointing Ms Borley as executive headteacher.

The Trust has also this year seen Snettisham Primary and St Clement High schools go from inadequate to good while Springwood High maintained its good rating for a fourth time.

Chairman of West Norfolk Academies Trust, Roger Livesey, said he was “extremely pleased” with the Ofsted report as it highlighted some of the school’s many strengths and positive aspects.

“This is a huge leap forward for West Lynn Primary. Four years ago the school was in special measures and while it’s been a long journey to reach this point, the school is unrecognisable from the one Ofsted judged in 2013.

“It’s fantastic to see that the dedication and sheer hard work of the staff coupled with the high level support and challenge provided by the West Norfolk Academies Trust has proved a winning combination.”

The report, by lead inspector Maria Curry, states that the school’s leaders have “eradicated inadequate teaching” and that pupils in Years 2 and 6 are making “strong progress”.

It continues: “Leaders are highly committed and ambitious for the school. They have secured many improvements since the inspection of the predecessor school, including improving teaching and the behaviour of pupils.

“Pupils behave well in lessons and at playtimes. Leaders have ensured that all staff know and use the school’s systems for managing pupils’ behaviour. Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities are well supported and so make good progress. 

“Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a strength of the school. A broad range of learning opportunities is provided and pupils are helped to develop into caring and sensible individuals.

“Safeguarding is effective because leaders ensure that all staff are well trained and school systems for identifying and acting upon concerns are used rigorously.”

Ofsted has challenged the school to continue to improve teaching, early years provision, leadership and governance in order to get the school a good rating at the next inspection.