Troubled school can only go up

GOVERNORS have promised the only way is up for troubled Chantry Junior School.Head of the governing body John Morris said there had been a dramatic improvement since Ofsted inspectors came through the door in September.

GOVERNORS have promised the only way is up for troubled Chantry Junior School.

Head of the governing body John Morris said there had been a dramatic improvement since Ofsted inspectors came through the door in September.

And he revealed a simmering anger among staff that there was little help forthcoming until the inspection exposed weaknesses which many already knew were there.

He said: "At the moment we have a temporary head offered to us by the Local Education Authority (LEA). He is a very experienced head who has come in with a fresh pair of eyes.


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"He's seen our strengths and weaknesses and has made an enormous difference.

"Now we need to buckle down to improve what needs to be improved and try to raise the standards of the school."

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This week The Evening Star revealed how the Aster Road school had lost its third head in four years when George Stevens quit.

Mr Morris has been on the governing board for three-and-a-half of those four years - a time he describes as "stressful."

But he said the publication of the damning Ofsted report - which described teaching and management as unsatisfactory - was an outlet for fury rather than hand-wringing.

He said: "Anger was the main feeling. You have to bear in mind that most of the staff have known that the school has got problems.

"They are angry because it took Ofsted to say that the school had problems before things got done by the LEA.

"They think if the LEA had been more active earlier then we would not have got as bad as we are.

"I don't feel quite as strongly as that, but there's an element of truth there."

Mr Morris said the school would have to work harder to get more support from parents in the community.

And he highlighted the mooted merger with sister school Chantry Infants as a possible route to future success.

He said: "We're getting lots of support from the LEA now, lots of good quality help and advice.

"We're also getting some financial support for some of the littler things.

"You can already see things are getting more positive, but we haven't got there yet. It's a relatively short time since we got this dreadful Ofsted report.

"If we get all the things done that we want to get done then things will turn around."

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