Parents back troubled school

PARENTS of youngsters at a troubled Ipswich primary school today gave their backing to changes introduced to improve the school. Speaking at an event aimed to show off the work of year six students at Halifax Primary School, in Prince of Wales Drive, Ipswich, completed after a school trip to London, parents and the school's chair of governors told The Evening Star they approved of the way the school was being run.

PARENTS of youngsters at a troubled Ipswich primary school today gave their backing to changes introduced to improve the school.

Speaking at an event aimed to show off the work of year six students at Halifax Primary School, in Prince of Wales Drive, Ipswich, completed after a school trip to London, parents and the school's chair of governors told The Evening Star they approved of the way the school was being run.

As revealed in the Star, parents learnt that the 330 pupil school fell into “special measures” after a damming Office in standards in Education (OfSTED) inspection was published a year ago.

Wendy Shaw, of Bostock Road, Ipswich, said: “I've got eight children and I have had a child at the school since 1991. I've always been happy with the school and I didn't realise it needed to go into special measures.

Mrs Shaw, has three children at the school. She said she approved of measures taken to enclose classrooms which were originally in an open plan design.

She added: “The changes have improved the school and the staff are working very hard and Ms Hennell James has tried very hard to make things better. I chose this school for my children and I am looking forward to watching it grow again.”

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Donna Lockwood, of Winchester Way, Ipswich, who has a stepson at the school, said: “The school had gone downhill but the headteacher is pulling the school back up. When it went into special measures it did cause parents concern but I'm now very positive about the future.”

Chairman of governors Roger Fern said: “Halifax has gone through a sticky patch but it has now come through that.

“Staff are pulling together and they have made huge progress in the last three or four months. There is no reason why Halifax could not be a flagship school again.”

What do you think of Halifax Primary School? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

HALIFAX Primary School was heavily criticised by inspectors during a visit in October 2005.

Pupil behaviour, teaching quality, achievement standards and the curriculum all fell under the OfSTED spotlight.

Anna Hennell James took over the headship at the school earlier this year after the departure of former headteacher Kevin Tomlin.

Ms Hennell James has since pledged to get the school out of special measures by autumn 2007.

She said: “OfSTED inspectors visited the school last week as part of an interim monitoring report. There is still a lot to do but we have had positive feedback form the inspection team.”

The publication of the interim report is expected shortly.

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