Doncaster school improving as teaching quality increases, says Ofsted

Edlington Victoria Primary School, Victoria Road, Edlington. Picture: Marie Caley
Edlington Victoria Primary School, Victoria Road, Edlington. Picture: Marie Caley
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A Doncaster primary school which was placed in special measures is taking effective steps to turn around its fortunes, say education chiefs.

Edlington Victoria Primary School on Victoria Road was placed in special measures last February after Ofsted inspectors identified a catalogue of failings.

But at an interim visit last month, inspectors found the school, which has 271 pupils, was improving.

Lead inspector Lesley Butcher said: “Having considered all the evidence I am of the opinion at this time that leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.”

The inspection was the third monitoring inspection since the school became subject to special measures.

After last year’s February inspection, the school was told it must urgently improve teaching, particularly in key stage two so that it was at a ‘good’ standard or better.

It was also told it must raise pupils’ achievement in reading, writing and maths, as well as improve the effectiveness of leadership at all levels, including the governors.

During the most recent inspection, on January 26 and 27, inspectors observed 14 lessons, looked at pupils’ work, spoke to staff and pupils and noted a number of improvements.

Ms Butcher said: “Increasing numbers of pupils across the school are now working at levels expected for their age.

“Attainment in early years will be broadly in line with national averages. This means that 20 per cent more children are better prepared to learn when they reach Year 1.

“Many more pupils are now attaining levels expected in writing and mathematics. Too few pupils are at expected levels in reading but leaders have introduced changes to how reading is taught. Better teaching is beginning to emerge. Expectations of the work that pupils will do are increasing.

“Pupils are increasingly enjoying school and there is a tangible difference in the learning atmosphere.”

But she said there were still areas of concern. Girls are still making better progress than boys in reading and writing and different teachers have varying expectations of pupils, leading to fluctuations in the quality of work produced.

The school continues to be supported by Hill Top Primary School in Edlington as the executive headteacher, Beryce Nixon, is also the headteacher at the nearby primary school, on Edlington Lane.

Since the last monitoring visit, in October, one teacher has left the school and has been replaced by a long-term supply teacher.

The school may also appoint newly qualified teachers before the next visit.

To improve further, the school, which is a larger-than- average primary school, was told it must address inconsistencies in teaching and improve the teaching of reading and mathematics.