School is ‘making progress’ in bid to drive up standards

New Head Teacher of St Peter's School, Huntingdon, Christopher Bennet

New Head Teacher of St Peter's School, Huntingdon, Christopher Bennet - Credit: Archant

A Huntingdon school is taking ‘effective action’ in its bid to come out of special measures, according to a new report by Ofsted.

In July the education watchdog criticised St Peter’s School for its lack of record-keeping and insisted that the school address the shortfall in safe-guarding practices for pupils.

The school was given an inadequate rating following the inspection and placed in special measures.

But, a monitoring visit carried out in November by inspector Kim Pigram found “leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures”.

In her report, Ms Pigram told head teacher Christopher Bennet that he, with the support of his leadership team, had “responded swiftly to the issues identified in the previous inspection report related to the safe-guarding of pupils”.

In response to the school’s July report, Mr Bennet introduced an action plan to improve safeguarding priorities, which was praised by inspectors.

“The head teacher’s action plan for safeguarding prioritises the correct aspects to rapidly improve the provision. Monitoring systems are rigorous and are identifying sharply where provision is improving and where more work is still required,” Ms Pigram noted in her new report.

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As a part of Mr Bennet’s action plan the size of the school’s safeguarding team has been increased and key workers have been put in place for vulnerable pupils.

During her visit Ms Pigram met with the chief executive of the Comberton Multi Academy Trust, which the school joined in September in a bid to improve faster.

She recognised this had benefited the school.

She added: “Leaders and staff continue to access support from other schools in the trust, particularly in mathematics and science.

“The trust’s director of education has undertaken some initial review work of the school, including its work in safeguarding.”

Improvements in the school’s provision for disadvantaged pupils and its strengthened approach to maths and science were also singled out for praise, despite the school’s inability - according to Ms Pigram - to recruit “permanent and/or high-quality teaching” in science.