Ofsted tell Wirksworth school to speed up progress on improvement plan

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A Wirksworth school has been told to fast-track its improvements by Ofsted amid the upheaval following a highly critical report in 2017.

Senior inspector Stephen McMullan visited Wirksworth Junior School, on Wash Green, shortly before Christmas to review the progress made since the full inspection last February.

That report graded the school as Requires Improvement on every criteria, and the headteacher and deputy head have since departed.

In his follow-up letter to acting headteacher Helen Taylor, Stephen said: “Senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified at the last section 5 inspection in order to become a good school.

“Nevertheless, the pace of improvement is not as swift as it could be.”

The current leadership team and Derbyshire County Council introduced a school improvement plan following the original report, with particular focus on evaluating individual pupil progress, raising attendance levels and standards in core subjects.

The inspector praised staff and governors for their efforts at bringing both change and stability to the school, but said more needed to be done for disadvantaged pupils and across curriculum subjects other than maths and English.

Consultant headteacher Sue Stack, who has been working with the school, said: “The inspector’s visit was a welcome opportunity for us to demonstrate the hard work that everyone connected with the school has put in to address the issues raised.

“There are exciting challenges for the school’s new headteacher when they take up their post shortly, and we are confident that they will arrive to find the school is in a good position to help our pupils progress at the rate that parents, governors, staff and Ofsted would all like to see.”

To read the original full report, together with the inspector’s most recent findings, go to https://goo.gl/uuKw8c.