7:08am Sunday 29th June 2014
THE NEW headteacher of a Cam primary school is determined to change its fortunes around after two consecutive Ofsted reports said it needs to improve.
Craig Jones started his new role at Cam Everlands at the end of April after being the deputy head at Hambrook Primary School in South Gloucestershire.
The 34-year-old father of one from Bristol, who has taught in Kent, Bristol and even Dubai is looking forward to facing the challenges of the school on Birch Road, which has underperformed for a number of years however Mr Jones was keen to point out the good work of former headteacher Ian Dixon.
“It is really exciting. It’s always been a career ambition to get to this stage, to have an overall experience of the classrooms and drive the school forward,” he said.
“There are good facilities here and a good community feel through Mr Dixon's hard work, which possibly hasn’t been brought up in the latest Ofsted report.”
In January, the school was given its second “requires improvement” Ofsted report in a row and now will have monitoring visits to ensure it is catching up on expectations.
The first visit was nine days into Mr Jones new job when Her Majesty’s inspector Robert Pyner toured the classrooms in May.
In his report, Mr Pyner said the school needed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of its teaching to plan improvements accordingly as well as develop an accurate and consistent system for measuring the academic progress made by pupils.
He added the responsibilities of governors need to be revised to ensure progress is discussed and recorded at meetings as well as ensure staff and governors are familiar with the findings of the Ofsted reports.
“Senior leaders and governors are not taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified at the last inspection,” he said.
However he did add that Mr Jones was in a good position to make the necessary changes, saying he had a “well-defined vision for the development of the school with an appropriately strong focus on improving teaching and the achievement by pupils”.
Mr Jones admitted there was work to be done but was confident the school could improve.
“By and large there’s things to improve, including progress in Maths and English, but
we’re getting a lot support from people in this and from national bodies to help improve the students in the school,” he said.
“We want to combine a traditional community feel while still meeting the challenges of the national agenda, because children are very happy here and they enjoy their learning.
“Staff are happy and parents enjoy bringing their children to this school.”
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