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Ofsted delighted with Kirkley Middle

PUBLISHED: 11:24 14 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:47 05 July 2010

A LOWESTOFT school which was slammed by government inspectors nearly a year ago is now improving across the board.

Kirkley Middle was put on special measures in December last year after a visit by Ofsted inspectors concluded that pupils were not getting a satisfactory education.

A LOWESTOFT school which was slammed by government inspectors nearly a year ago is now improving across the board.

Kirkley Middle was put on special measures in December last year after a visit by Ofsted inspectors concluded that pupils were not getting a satisfactory education.

Now the school has been visited again and inspectors have noted satisfactory improvements in areas from behaviour and teaching to attendance and achievement.

Although headteacher Andrea Colley has been off work ill for some time, the school's new interim leadership and management team of Jo Ryder, head of school, and Philip Illsley, executive head, have been complimented for “working effectively together”, with “great determination and drive” and “clearly moving forward despite the continued staff shortages and the changes to be brought through school reorganisation.”

The report, by Ofsted inspector George Derby, said: “The culture and ethos have changed and there is a great determination and drive and staff are working hard to improve their practice.”

Mr Illsley said: “I have been delighted by the response of all staff and the local authority to the challenge of ensuring the school moves on.”

The report said that attainment standards had improved, with ambitious targets being met in English and only missed by a small margin in maths and science, and inspectors noted an improvement in the planning of lively and informative lessons.

It said: “The behaviour of pupils is at least satisfactory and good in many lessons and around the school. They demonstrated outstanding behaviour throughout the one assembly observed; pupils express no concerns about bullying.”

The school's governors also come in for praise, with inspectors describing them as “much better informed… and in a position to challenge the school even further”.

The local authority is acknowledged for the support it has given, particularly through their consultant adviser, Stewart Robertson, for its rigorous monitoring of the school's improvement.

The school will have regular visits from Ofsted until it is taken off special measures and inspectors have said that the teachers need to provide more challenging work for higher-achieving pupils and better training for teaching assistants.

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