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Celebrations as school is taken out of special measures

Children at Reculver school cheering their latest Ofsted with head teacher Jon Fox
Reculver pupils celebrate their latest Ofsted report with head teacher Jon Fox
Staff and pupils at Reculver school are celebrating after the school was taken out of special measures. Ofsted inspectors visited for a routine check at the end of last term and were impressed with the improvements that had been made.

They judged leadership and management as good, along with pupil’s behaviour and safety, and the school overall as requiring improvement, which is one step away from good. Head teacher Jon Fox said:

It is an enormous relief, and the result of an enormous amount of work by the entire team, which goes down to the children. We have lots of new people on board who have brought new vitality, and my deputy Jenny Ashley-Jones joined last September and has been a key factor.

Mr Fox joined the school just three weeks before the inspection that result in it being put in special measures. He is now aiming for an overall rating of good at the next inspection, with outstanding in leadership and pupil behaviour and safety. He said:

It is a lovely school and it was a lovely school. The children were happy, there were lovely things going on and it didn’t feel like a special measures school. But if you looked at the underlying systems, you could see that some things weren’t working. That is why parents, teachers and governors were shocked by the result.

Since the initial inspection, Mr Fox and his team made a host of changes, including starting a parent council and making sure staff and pupils knew what was expected of them. Support systems have been improved and teachers now graded as outstanding are coaching those still to reach that level. Mr Fox, a literacy specialist, is also teaching groups of boys to ensure they reach their potential. Lead inspector Hilary Macdonald said:

The head teacher, ably supported by the deputy head teacher, provides powerful and dynamic leadership. As a result, they have secured improvements in pupils’ rates of progress and levels of attainment, as well as behaviour. Teaching is more consistent and leads to reasonable or better progress.

Mr Fox said:

Everyone has the same vision, to make the school succeed. Everyone, from the cleaners to the governors, has experienced change and everyone has come on board.

Inspectors praised:

  • The skilled governors, for being “pivotal” in improvements
  • Leadership, with senior staff providing “excellent role models”
  • Subject leaders and specialist teachers
  • The school’s Christian ethos
  • Monitoring of children’s progress
  • Communication with parents
  • Children’s attendance, behaviour and attitudes
  • Areas for improvement were:
  • Increasing the amount of good teaching
  • Improving teaching of literacy, and raising achievements of pupils, particularly boys.

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