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Staff praised for ‘responding positively’ following last Ofsted inspection

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RIVER Mead School in Melksham says it is delighted to have received a positive report regarding continued improvement following their first monitoring visit since the inspection in January. 

The school received an ‘inadequate’ rating in an earlier report by Ofsted but parents strongly rejected the criticisms, insisting the school is ‘fantastic’.

However, this time, Ofsted was impressed with how the school had made many changes since their last visit. Headteacher Nicki Henderson said, “We are delighted. They said they were hugely impressed by all that has already been done and all that we plan to do to secure improvement in those areas that need most rapid change.

“The purpose of the first visit was to evaluate the rigour of the action plans in securing the necessary improvements and these were recognised as ‘tightly focused, helpfully link to challenging, but realistic, priorities for improving achievement’.

“Most pleasing is the recognition and confirmation that the ‘strengthening practices that were beginning to have a positive impact prior to the inspection and the ‘good teaching in some year groups’ are enabling the children to make faster progress.”

In the report it also stated, “One consequence of these initiatives has been an improvement in the rate of progress made by pupils, especially in the early years and those who have better support for their learning difficulties and needs. Pupils who have made slow progress in mathematics in the past are now developing their skills more quickly and with greater confidence.”

Ofsted was also pleased with progress made in the time scale between inspections. They said, “Understandably, much of the improvement work is in its infancy and there has not been sufficient time for leaders to demonstrate that the initiatives are bringing about the required improvements over time. However, there has been a very encouraging beginning in remedying the weaknesses identified in the last inspection.

Nicki Henderson continued, “Ofsted recognise the extremely good support provided by the Mead Academy Trust, local authority improvement advisers and governors in securing this process. We would like to thank too the parents and carers who have responded so enthusiastically to the changes and who have taken such pride in the achievements at River Mead School.”