School praised by OFSTED

A SCHOOL judged to have serious weaknesses in 2000, has been described as sound and improving by OFSTED inspectors.Pupils at Downing Primary School in Ipswich are still achieving less than the national average, and results in English were in the lowest five per cent of the country's schools.

By Tracey Sparling

A SCHOOL judged to have serious weaknesses in 2000, has been described as sound and improving by OFSTED inspectors.

Pupils at Downing Primary School in Ipswich are still achieving less than the national average, and results in English were in the lowest five per cent of the country's schools.

A new OFSTED report states: "By the time pupils leave the school in year Six, their standards are below those found nationally."

It said many pupils start school with low levels of attainment in basic and social skills, and added: "87 pupils in the school have special educational needs. These constitute 44 per cent of those on roll in the main school (a well above average proportion) and about one quarter of children in the nursery.

"A very high number of pupils (18) have statements of special educational need, which is a very high proportion of pupils on roll – at just over 10pc.

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"The school has recently experienced difficulty in recruiting staff to replace senior co-ordinators, at the time of the inspection, two temporary staff were employed to cover their teaching commitments."

Headteacher Margo Barker said helping children with special needs was a strength of the school.

She said staff had given children 100pc of their time and enthusiasm to make sure children got the best possible education.

She added: "We pride ourselves on caring about and meeting the needs of every individual child and I am so glad that OFSTED has recognised the strength of the school.

"We know there is still a lot of work to be done to raise standards, and to address issues about planning and monitoring and providing computer equipment, but we know that we have permanent staff in place from September, and are excited about the prospect of moving forward with confidence."

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