Peterborough school celebrates after ‘rapid transformation’

Head teacher Christine Parker and deputy Paul Fountain (group centre), with staff and pupils. Photo: Paul Franks
Head teacher Christine Parker and deputy Paul Fountain (group centre), with staff and pupils. Photo: Paul Franks
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Delighted pupils and staff at a Peterborough primary school are celebrating after a good Ofsted report - 14 months after being rated as inadequate.

Christine Parker, the head teacher of Gladstone Primary School, in Millfield, Peterborough, said it had been a “team effort” to turn things around.

Gladstone Primary School head teacher Christine Parker. Photo: Paul Franks

Gladstone Primary School head teacher Christine Parker. Photo: Paul Franks

When Ofsted inspectors visited the 443 pupil school in November two years ago they noted that children were not making good enough progress in English and mathematics and that the quality of teaching was only “satisfactory”.

This lead Mrs Parker to introduce a raft of measures aimed at raising standards, including giving pupils special books to monitor their progress and regularly checking the work of teachers.

When inspectors returned to the school to carry out a two-day inspection in January, they rated it as being “good” in every area, which is one mark below the top grade of outstanding.

Mrs Parker said: “This is a wonderful outcome and achievement for all the children attending Gladstone.

“It has been a whole school team effort with the governing body supporting and challenging us all along the way.”

She added: “There were good aspects in the previous report but we had to be more consistent across the whole school.

“We gave all the pupils ‘lift-off books’ to monitor their progress so they know how they are leaning. We have also worked to engage with parents more thoroughly.

“Now we have firm foundations to build on and we want to work towards an outstanding report next time.”

Councillor John Holdich, cabinet member for education, said: “This result is simply fantastic for Gladstone Primary School and I would like to praise everyone who has worked so hard to achieve this including the head teacher and all her staff, pupils and their parents and guardians.

“In just 14 months the school has been transformed from inadequate to good, which means there has been a rapid improvement.

“It is extremely rare for a school to make this leap in such a short time.”

Details of the inspection

Ofsted inspectors who visited Gladstone Primary School in January found that standards within the school were rising rapidly and as a result pupils are making good progress, often from low starting points.

Observation of lessons and pupils’ work indicated that the progress made by pupils will increase, reflecting the increasing amount of good or better teaching.

Inspectors also reported a significant improvement in teaching with regular checks by senior leaders, well organised lessons and a relentless drive by the head teacher Christine Parker to improve standards.

They also noted that disabled pupils and those with special needs do well because their needs are understood and the right support is put in place to help them succeed.

Behaviour among pupils was noted as being good. Inspectors said that pupils feel safe, their attitudes to learning are positive and attendance has risen.

They also reported that leadership is good and that head teacher Christine Parker expects high standards from both pupils and teachers and has significantly improved the school.