Ofsted tells primary that it must improve

Oxford Mail: Headteacher Jackie Ranger with some of her pupils Headteacher Jackie Ranger with some of her pupils

A LITTLEMORE primary school has been told it requires improvement and leaders believe its academy status will turn it around faster.

John Henry Newman Academy in Grange Road was visited by Ofsted inspectors on June 4 and 5.

It was the first school to come under the banner of the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust in September 2012, and has had a chequered history of being in special measures.

New headteacher Jackie Ranger, who took up her post last September, was praised in the report, with inspectors stating: “The headteacher is revitalising the academy.

Governors, staff, parents, carers and pupils hold her in high esteem.”

The school was last month told by Church inspectors under the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) that it was doing well.

A SIAMS inspection focuses on the effect that the Christian ethos of the church school has on the children and young people who attend it, while Ofsted focuses on academic performance.

Mrs Ranger said: “We are here to raise aspirations, of the children and of the community first and foremost and to achieve the best they can.

“We are not shying away from the issues.”

The school, which has 398 pupils, has an above average proportion of children who receive pupil premium – additional funding for children from low-income families – and above average levels of children with disabilities, special educational needs, and those who speak English as an additional language.

The primary school, which has about 400 pupils, was taken out of special measures by Ofsted in March 2012.

Chairman of governors Andrew Bevan said becoming an academy has, and will continue to, benefit the children.

He said: “It has made a huge difference and will support us in the area of school improvement and staff development. For me it is unimaginable to be able to do this without being an academy.”

The diocese’s director of education Anne Davey said: “We have access to even more resources and expertise than we would in a state-maintained school.”

Elizabeth Farr lead inspector said in the report: “Achievement over time requires improvement because standards in reading, writing and mathematics are not high enough.”

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