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Follow-up Ofsted visit praised raised standards at Baxenden school
SEVERAL teachers have left a school which Ofsted inspectors said required improvement.
A follow up monitoring visit to St John’s School in Baxenden saw inspectors praise raised standards.
But the inspectors also found the school was now functioning with some vacancies and four temporary teachers.
Arrangements are in place to fill posts by the end of the summer term.
The school had also faced challenges with recruiting school governors, an issue now resolved with the Church of England diocese’s help.
The inspection report by Ofsted inspector Barbara Comiskey to headteacher Christina Regan praised the headteacher for tackling concerns.
Ms Comiskey said: “When you took up post the year before the inspection, you saw that children could achieve much more and that the school was at a standstill. Too little teaching was good; some was inadequate.
"You put in place higher expectations and more robust improvement strategies. Several teachers chose to leave the school. At present, there are four temporary teachers. Working with the local authority, you have put in place support and challenge for teachers, whether temporary or permanent.
“Some changes are at an early stage. Nevertheless, I saw positive examples of the effects on pupils and their work. Pupils I talked to were enthusiastic about the higher level work they now do in English and mathematics. Children entitled to the pupil premium have improved their attendance. Your own work to build up a school choir is showing the community how well local children can achieve.”
Classroom observation and standards of pupils’ work have also been moderated by local authority advisers at Lancashire County Council. Governance has also said to have improved after challenges with recruitment, and the chair and vice-chair of governors were new just before inspection.
Fred Kershaw at Blackburn Church of England Diocese said the school was focusing on pupils. He said: “The position is that we want children attending any of our schools to have the best chance in life. Teachers who have left may have decided to seek other employment prior to the inspection. We’ve also supported the school in finding appropriate governors who can help them build on their strengths.”
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