Ofsted turnaround for Peterhouse Primary School

A SCHOOL’S range of carrot and stick sanctions for pupils and parents has helped it to achieve a remarkable turnaround in just a few months.

Such is the transformation at Peterhouse Primary School in Gorleston that headteacher Martin Scott is confidently predicting it will be taken off special measures at the next inspection.

Ofsted’s latest visit last month has seen inspectors hail the 248-pupil school for its improvements after finding fault in a range of areas in March last year.

Putting it on special measures inspectors said the school was failing to give pupils an acceptable standard of teaching, with absence and poorly pitched lessons both a problem.

Now, however, a monitoring report has praised the “innovative and persistent” work of willing staff and supportive parents particularly in the area of attendance where “remarkable progress” has been made. Elsewhere it says pupils are improving faster than expected with attainment in some year groups now exceeding national averages.

Progress across all criticised areas is either “good” or “outstanding”.

Leading the transformation Mr Scott said he was “very confident” the school would be taken off special measures in September and that he was on track to swap the “failing” tag for an “outstanding” one.

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“Three months ago we were “satisfactory” now we are “good” and “outstanding” in one area.

“We are really chuffed, it is has been a real team effort and the children are benefiting.

“We have had a 60pc change of staff since September and there is a huge emphasis on training and up-skilling.

“Its all about making the school focus more on what its prime focus is – making sure that these children on the estate get the same education as everyone else.

“Our target as a school is that a lot of those ‘goods’ become ‘outstandings’.”

The use of rewards like praise in assembly and trips to McDonalds had cracked attendance he said, with parents earning substantial discounts at a local hairdressers for their efforts – and court action for those who didn’t comply.

“We need to say a great big thank you to parents. We have a new impetus, new ethos and new vision for the school making clear that we want high quality teaching and education,” he said adding that the Ofsted inspector was staggered by the improvement in attendance, one of the biggest he had ever seen.

Moving into its new premises following reorganisation which saw the middle and first schools amalgamated had helped drive the fresh start forward, Mr Scott said.