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New challenge for new head

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A new headteacher has big plans for a school which was warned to make ‘urgent improvements’ last year.

After performance levels at Broadfield East Junior School were criticised as being ‘unacceptably low’ by inspectors, the Department for Education (DfE) stepped in to issue a Pre-Warning Notice outlining areas it wanted to see improved.

Now David Tow, who took over as head in January, plans to prove he, his staff and the children have what it takes to succeed in turning the school’s fortunes around.

Broadfield East Junior School is part of The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT), which started running the school as an academy in 2012.

One of the major concerns highlighted in a letter to the trust from Parliamentary under secretary of state for schools Lord John Nash was a lack of teaching and leadership – but a recent monitoring visit from the DfE indicated the school was on the right track when it came to addressing those concerns.

Speaking about the visit, Mr Tow said: “They wanted to see if TKAT had appointed some one good, so it was a nervous time for me.”

His nerves were misplaced, though, with the DfE describing itself as “delighted” with his appointment.

Mr Tow said TKAT and the governors were also praised for having much more involvement with the school than they had previously.

Mr Tow said: “I was so pleased they recognised the hard work we had done.

“We had had 18 days with the children and they noticed the children were more focussed, the teachers were teaching and they were impressed with the neat and tidy nature of the school and the quality of behaviour.”

Another monitoring visit is scheduled for some time in the summer.

Mr Tow added: “We’re getting ourselves into a sustainable position.

“We want every child to achieve their full potential and we’ve set ourselves to making sure that’s working.”

When it comes to improving their school, the 280 children at Broadfield East Junior School have a new headteacher with experience.

A teacher for 15 years, Mr Tow worked at Bewbush Academy five years ago and was “part of the journey of improving that school”.

 

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