Mon, 17 Apr 2017
A WEST Berkshire junior school has been praised for the vast improvements made since Oftsed inspectors placed it in special measures in 2013.
Westwood Farm Junior School, in Tilehurst, has now been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted following a visit in March, in which the school’s leadership, staff and pupils received a glowing report.
Inspectors attributed much of the improvement at the school to executive headteacher Barbara Hunter, who, prior to taking on the position last September, had a long-standing working relationship with the school when employed by West Berkshire Council as its school improvement advisor.
In their report, inspectors said: “Leadership and governance have evolved since the last inspection and both aspects are increasingly strong.
“The arrival of the executive headteacher has brought fresh impetus and momentum.
“Together with her leadership team, she has swiftly secured a steep change in the school’s performance.”
During the inspection, Ofsted noted the staff’s strong commitment to making a difference for all the school’s pupils, saying: “A sense of determination, optimism and a ‘can do’ attitude permeate all areas of school life.
“Staff, parents and pupils alike share a belief in the school and its leadership.”
The report adds that “West Berkshire Council has provided helpful and timely support throughout the school's improvement journey.
“The local authority reviews of pupil premium and special educational needs spending, carried out in the summer of 2016, were particularly helpful.”
It concludes by saying: “Governance is increasingly strong.
“Governors know the school well and have an incisive understanding of most aspects of the school's performance.”
Responding to the Ofsted report, Mrs Hunter said: “We are all so delighted by Ofsted’s confirmation that we are now a ‘good’ school.
“I’m very happy to be a part of Westwood Farm’s exciting journey and to see all the work of the staff and pupils coming to fruition.
“This school means a lot to everyone involved in this improvement process and it is our mission to continue to improve so that our federation of schools at Westwood Farm are the very best they can be.”
Lynne Doherty, West Berkshire’s executive member for education said: “This is a fantastic achievement that has been achieved by people who care deeply for the school and for the future of its pupils.
“Everyone at Westwood Farm has shown an extraordinary desire to make this school a great learning space where pupils and staff can thrive and achieve.”