Praise for head teacher as primary school completes turnaround

St Mary's School in St Neots has been rated 'good' in all areas by Ofsted. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

St Mary's School in St Neots has been rated 'good' in all areas by Ofsted. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

ead teacher and governors at St Mary’s Primary School in St Neots have been praised in a recent inspection by Ofsted.

The academy was rated ‘good’ in all areas by inspectors just three years after it joined the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust (DEMAT) as a sponsored school.

The move to join the academy came following a scathing report in 2015 in which the school was rated as inadequate.

Inspectors said the trust and head teacher Ben Hodson, with the support of the deputy head teacher and governors, had set high expectations for staff and pupils.

“As a result, leaders have successfully improved the quality of education provided by the school,” they added.

They said governors and representatives from DEMAT were effective, knowledgeable and committed to the school and its pupils. “They have an accurate view of the school’s strengths and areas for improvement,” their report added.

Inspectors found that leaders regularly checked on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment in the school. “Arrangements for managing teachers’ performance are rigorous. Leaders hold teachers stringently to account and address underperformance. The trust monitors and supports this aspect of leaders’ work closely.”

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Early years provision was also found to be good – Ofsted found that the recently appointed leader had quickly gained an accurate view of its strengths and weaknesses.

Pupils in turn were praised for their good behaviour and attitudes to learning. Inspectors said they were typically polite and respectful to one another and to adults.

The school was encouraged to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, improve outcomes, further reduce absence and persistent absence and improve the behaviour of a small minority of pupils.

Mr Hodson said: “I am exceptionally proud of the hard work all staff and the governing body have put into turning St Mary’s into a good school. Staff have been exceptionally dedicated to the children of this community in ensuring they get a great education.”

DEMAT chief executive, Andrew Read said: “I am delighted that the school is now recognised as one of the strongest in the area and parents are choosing to send their children there. The very hard work of staff and children has enabled this to happen, along with strong collaboration with the local community. We all have a school to be proud of.”