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Council pledges to help primary school improve

Kingston Council has drawn up an action plan for improvements at a primary school where inspectors found serious weaknesses.

Knollmead Primary School in Tolworth, which has 276 pupils, has been placed in a ‘category of concern’ by Ofsted, the body which regulates teaching standards, following an inspection in July.

The council’s plans include seeking the help of an ‘outstanding’ academy school in the borough to support Knollmead.

Ofsted’s judgement means that the school will be inspected again within 18 months and will need to show improvement in two main areas:

  • consistency of teaching to ensure all pupils, especially those in Years 4, 5 and 6 and those eligible for pupil premium make good progress through each year
  • roles of all leaders, especially middle leaders

Ofsted’s report said that senior staff and governors had identified and remedied major weaknesses, and that children are now achieving better.

Results have improved: 73 per cent of children achieved Level 4 in reading, writing and mathematics. There were also improvements in the proportion of children who made expected progress in reading, writing and mathematics from the end of Key Stage 1.

Knollmead is a one-form entry primary school with a nursery. The school provides two specialist resources for pupils with Special Educational Needs, both judged good by inspectors. More than half of its pupils are from minority ethnic groups, nearly 40 per cent speak English as an additional language, but very few are at the early stages of learning English.

Ofsted said the school has several strengths, including:

  • behaviour of pupils is good and the school is calm and orderly
  • progress of pupils is consistently strong in reception and nursery classes, Years 1, 2 and 3 and in the hearing impaired and autistic spectrum disorder units
  • the school has developed a good partnership with parents

However, Ofsted said that progress pupils make is too variable in parts of Key Stage 2 and for those who are entitled to pupil premium funding.

“The council will submit its plans to address the identified weaknesses at Knollmead to Ofsted very soon. We are supporting the new Head Teacher, who is already making rapid improvements, in any way we can.”

“Ofsted recognises that the council has provided excellent support to the school. We have a strong partnership with all of our schools and are working hard to help Knollmead achieve the necessary improvements through the right local partnerships.”

Councillor David Ryder-Mills, Kingston Council’s Lead Member for Schools

“The many positive points made in the report reflect the improvement that has already been made over the past year and I am confident that the school is well placed to make rapid progress under the strong leadership of our new Head Teacher.”

Diana Brotherston, Chair of Governors

The school and council has met parents to discuss the Ofsted report. Parents will be kept informed of progress.

Ofsted’s report is online at www.ofsted.gov.uk.