Board takes temporary control of primary school following visit from Ofsted inspectors

PUBLISHED: 07:51 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 07:51 02 November 2017

Thongsley Fields Primary School, in Huntingdon. Picture: GOOGLE.

Thongsley Fields Primary School, in Huntingdon. Picture: GOOGLE.

Archant

A school in Huntingdon where the governors have been replaced is expected to be under the control of a temporary board for under a year.

An interim executive board (IEB) was put in place at Thongsley Fields Primary this summer to run the school in a move which came after it was given a “requires improvement” rating in an Ofsted inspection held in May.

Ofsted said the school had been through a “turbulent time” which had seen changes to both leadership and staff.

A parent of two pupils at Thongsley Fields, who did not want to be named, contacted The Hunts Post and described the school as “a shambles”.

She said: “The head teacher has disappeared and no-one knows why. Twelve members of staff have left and more are leaving. The governors have been sacked and when we ask what is happening no-one will tell us.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “An interim executive board has replaced the governing body as a temporary measure at Thongsley Fields school to ensure that the school is compliant with all statutory requirements, as well as implementing best practice in all areas.

“It is expected the IEB will be in place for less than a year after which the school will be returned to the responsibility of a governing body. The governing body had a number of vacancies and the local authority needed to ensure that the school was compliant with all statutory requirements.”

The spokesman said: “All parents were written to by the school at the end of the summer term explaining the changes to the governing body and new staff members.

“The school is currently being led by the deputy head with support from Cambridgeshire County Council while the head teacher remains on sick leave.”

The spokesman added: “The new staff have settled in well and the school is working to address the issues raised in its last Ofsted inspection.”

The inspection report showed the school requires improvement across all areas, including the effectiveness of leadership and management.

It said the school had undergone a “turbulent time with changes to both leadership and staff” and that the governors had not “sufficiently monitored” the impact of funding to raise outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.

Ofsted said teaching and learning at the school was inconsistent.

It said that the then governing body had been restructured and that all were either new or new to the role and were undertaking training.

The report said pupils were respectful, pupils with special needs were being supported, good progress was being made at key stage 1 mathematics, safeguarding and support for pupils whose first language was not English were effective and disadvantaged children were making good progress.

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