'Black sheep' Royal Park Primary School 'makes history' with latest Ofsted report
A SIDCUP primary school which was the "black sheep of the borough" has "made history" with its latest Ofsted report.
Royal Park Primary has been graded good for the first time ever after being rated unsatisfactory in 2005 and satisfactory in 2007 and 2010.
The latest inspection was carried out in February giving the 225-pupil school a good rating overall and in four key categories including achievement of pupils and quality of teaching.
Joanne Taylor has been head of the Riverside Road school for four years and claims it has been struggling for two decades – until now.
She said: "I am delighted with the fact that we have made history.
"For all this time it has been the black sheep of the borough.
"It has vindicated us by backing up what our parents knew already."
Ofsted’s January 2005 inspection said the school had "serious weaknesses" and rumours of closure "led to a period of insecurity when it has been difficult to attract pupils or staff."
Fast forward to now and Royal Park’s pupil numbers have grown 22 per cent in three years with Music, PE and modern foreign languages identified as "key strengths".
The 2010 report identified pupil attainment "well below the national average for several years", with some classes where "basic skills are not taught well enough to ensure pupils achieve as well as they could."
But the latest inspection results published on March 4 say the typical quality of teaching has improved since 2010, with pupils saying teachers "make learning fun".
Royal Park now has 40 staff and caters for six children with physical disabilities.
Mrs Taylor added: "I am only unhappy it wasn’t outstanding in all areas but we will get there in the next three years.
"We are looking forward to our next inspection to prove we are providing an outstanding education for our kids."