What a difference a year makes as Ofsted praises “relentless” efforts by head and staff to transform Ely primary school

Head teacher Sue Spooner

Head teacher Sue Spooner - Credit: Archant

Staff at a primary school in Ely have been “relentless in the pursuit of excellence” according to government inspectors.

Last year, a team from Ofsted said that standards at The Lantern Community Primary had dropped sharply and ordered urgent improvements to be made.

At the time, inspector Katherine Beck, said that there were “marked disparities in the quality of teaching across the school”.

But, 12 months on, and new head teacher Sue Spooner has seen her efforts to transform the school’s fortunes pay off, with inspectors recording improvements across the board.

Ofsted’s Mike Capper said: “Members of staff are enthusiastic and form strong relationships with the pupils. They have high expectations of pupils and manage their behaviour effectively.

“They ensure that time is not wasted and help pupils develop positive attitudes towards learning.”

Since last year’s inspection, Mr Capper noted that pupils had made progress in their learning and were now “above average” in their reading, writing and mathematics.

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He noted: “This is because pupils’ progress has greatly improved in response to better teaching.”

And there was also praise for the head teacher and senior teachers, who, inspectors noted, had helped drive rapid improvement.

Mr Capper said: “The strong example set by the headteacher and other senior leaders has helped the school to improve quickly since the previous inspection.

“Weaknesses have been tackled well because leaders make clear they will accept only the best for pupils.

“Leaders have worked very effectively to secure the necessary improvements in the quality of provision and to ensure equality of opportunity for all pupils.”

In order to make the leap from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ the school needs to share examples of ‘good practice’ in pupil feedback and marking, so it is consistent across the board.

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