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Head vows to improve Underhill Juniors, Barnet, after bad Ofsted report
A headteacher has admitted his school’s critical Ofsted report is “valid” and has vowed to make positive changes.
Underhill Junior School, Mays Lane, Barnet, was told it requires improvement after a recent inspection - having been downgraded from its previous 'good' ranking.
According to the report, teaching standards are “not consistently good” and pupils are not always clear about the next steps in their learning.
In 2012, governors noticed a drop in standards and ordered teachers to follow a carefully drafted action plan to help improve grades.
Headteacher Jack Newton said: “Our action plan has been a success. However, I did expect this rating and we agree with everything the report says. It’s all valid.
“We want to give the children enough confidence and faith in themselves to realise they can achieve anything no matter what.
“Part of our action plan is to improve communication between parents and engage them in their child’s learning. Children have always been happy here and we pride ourselves on that.
“This is still a good school.”
Among problems identified by inspectors, the report also states there are not enough opportunities for pupils to work independently in lessons and some activities set to do not maintain pupils’ enthusiasm for learning.
To improve further, teachers were told to develop pupils' awareness of how their behaviour impacts on others both inside and out of lessons.
But the report did say the dip in standards in 2012 had now been addressed, with pupils making steady improvement in reading, writing and mathematics.
It also praised the school's "excellent" sports programs, and the way Mr Newton has an "accurate understanding" of the strengths and areas for development in the school.
A statement from the chairman of governors, Neil Ruckman, said: “The drop to 'requires improvement' is a reflection of the much tougher inspection schedule now being administered by Ofsted.
“Progress accelerated for all pupils throughout the academic year.
“I think the report is both valid in its criticisms of performance in 2012 and a very good reflection of the progress made in a matter of months.”
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