New head working to improve school

Andrew Hodgson (headteacher), West Green Primary School, West Green Drive, Crawley, West Sussex. Pic Steve Robards  SR1620798 SUS-161107-173657001
Andrew Hodgson (headteacher), West Green Primary School, West Green Drive, Crawley, West Sussex. Pic Steve Robards SR1620798 SUS-161107-173657001

The headteacher of a school told by Ofsted that it requires improvement has described the rating as “fair”.

West Green Primary underwent a two-day inspection in June and the findings were published on Thursday (July 7).

In their report, inspectors Joy Considine and Hilary Goddard recognised the improvement work carried out by new headteacher, Andrew Hodgson, but were not yet able to rate the school ‘good’.

The report stated: “Since joining the school in September last year, the headteacher has brought about key changes to the school. He is ambitious and is changing the culture of the school to instil a sense of purpose among staff and pupils.

“He has introduced a programme of training and development to help teachers to improve their skills. Teachers welcome this and speak highly of the support they are given.

“Consequently, teaching is improving.”

The inspectors found pupils had not progressed as well as they should in reading, writing or maths; and there was “insufficient guidance” from teachers to show children how to improve their work.

They also said children did not always behave as well as they should, and subjects other than English and maths were not taught in any great depth. When asked about the report, Mr Hodgson said: “I think it is a fair representation. I’m pleased it identifies all the positive things that have happened and all the progress we’ve made, but clearly we still have part of our journey to complete to be ‘good’.”

Parents were described as having confidence in Mr Hodgson’s “ability to continue to improve the school”. This was reflected in Ofsted’s Parent View, which allows mums and dads to share their opinions about their child’s school.

In 2013/14, only 39 per cent said they would recommend West Green to another parent – this year that figure was 86 per cent.

Among the areas listed for improvement, was the need to establish consistency in teaching, learning and assessment, and developing the skills of all leaders.

Mr Hodgson said: “None of it was a surprise and the school is already working towards those priorities.

“It’s about working with the excellent staff I have here already and fine-tuning our teaching.” In a letter to parents, he added: “We know there is still much work to be done and we remain firmly focused on those improvements to ensure we achieve that ‘good’ judgement in the near future.”

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