School bouncing back to success

PUPILS and staff at a once failing Ipswich primary school are celebrating today after it was taken out of special measures. Halifax Primary School was placed under the education sanctions in October 2005 after inspectors identified a string of crippling weaknesses, including problems with pupil behaviour, teaching quality, standards, open plan classrooms and the curriculum.

PUPILS and staff at a once failing Ipswich primary school are celebrating today after it was taken out of special measures.

Halifax Primary School was placed under the education sanctions in October 2005 after inspectors identified a string of crippling weaknesses, including problems with pupil behaviour, teaching quality, standards, open plan classrooms and the curriculum.

However, a new headteacher, improved facilities and a successful recruitment drive have breathed fresh life into the school, which is now said to provide a satisfactory standard of education to its pupils.

Headteacher Anna Hennell James was drafted in to the Halifax hot seat shortly after Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) published its damning report in 2005.


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She said: “I'm absolutely thrilled. The timing is really good for us because it means we can go into our summer holidays knowing we are out of special measures and we can come back in September and carry on with the school improvement work.

“It's been a real team effort. The staff have worked incredibly hard and the support from parents and governors has been excellent.

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“The children have really risen to the challenge too, working really hard and behaving very well.”

The report states that Halifax, in Prince of Wales Drive, is improving quickly.

Several “significant” changes have been introduced and the school is said to be well placed to make and sustain further improvements.

Meanwhile Ms Hennell James was found to have provided “strong and purposeful” leadership.

Chair of governors Roger Fern praised Ms Hennell James, her deputy Karen Mills and the rest of the teaching staff.

Mr Fern, a former Ipswich mayor, headteacher and Ofsted inspector, added: “The results from this summer's tests, especially in English and science, show just how capable our pupils are.

“They are beginning to achieve at levels of which they, as well as their parents and the school, can be proud.

“There are still, of course, aspects to work on, and we know what they are. The inspectors' report helpfully confirms the same aspects for further improvement.”

What do you make of Halifax's revival? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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