New headteacher on path to improving Blackburn primary school

St Alban’s RC primary

St Alban’s RC primary

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

OFSTED inspectors said they think a new headteacher will be able to succeed with a school which ‘requires improvement’.

St Alban’s RC Primary School in Blackburn is said to still be experiencing difficulties and Ofsted said the quality of teaching was not always good.

The school entered a rocky period when former headteacher Annie Owens was sacked in 2012 following a nine-month investigation into allegations of bullying against staff and pupils.

After interim arrangements, new headteacher Claire Speakman was brought in.

Inspector Louise Murphy said: “There has been weak teaching in the past, leaving a legacy of under-achievement for pupils. Although the new headteacher is tackling this vigorously, progress is still uneven across the school.

“In the 2013 end of Year 6 national tests, too few pupils made the progress expected of them in reading, writing and mathematics and therefore, achievement requires improvement.

“Pupils do not make consistently good progress from their starting points in reading, writing and mathematics, because the quality of teaching is not always good.”

However she added: “The quality of teaching is improving and some is good. Pupils’ behaviour is good and they are eager to learn.”

She added that the headteacher was capable of making great improvements.

She said: “The headteacher is relentlessly driving school improvement. She deservedly has the full confidence of school staff and the governing body.

“The relatively new headteacher has a clear view of the direction that she wants the school to take. She has quickly gained the confidence of staff and school governors, so she is now leading a cohesive team determined to do their best to improve standards.”

Mrs Speakman was praised for the ‘speed with which she has improved staff morale’. Mrs Speakman said: “We were particularly pleased Ofsted noted the excellent behaviour and attitude to learning of the children. The school continues to improve thanks to the hard work of all staff and support from parents, governors, the local authority and the dioccese.”

Comments (4)

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12:41am Sat 21 Jun 14

woolywords says...

Let me set my stall out here, as my former boss, Jimmy, made me do...

Teachers, in certain classes, are failing to provide the kids, an education.
Now, the head is sacked?
Which part of this, am I not getting?
Since teachers are appointed by the board of governors, along with the Head.
The Head is sacked.. as though he/she made a bad choice..
And no governors, have fallen on their swords, metaphorically?

As a former school governor, from a very prestigious school, I openly call into question, the rights of this schools governance, to continue as it has.
Not a one of them has resigned, in spite of this?
Are they waiting for some person to shout, arrogance?
If so, consider it, spoken.

Do you run around, in your own pomposity, declaring, to all and sundry, within earshot, that you are this schools governor?
May the gods save all children, from your idiocy.
At least a disgraced Senator, had the decency to fall upon a sword,
before someone of the Prelate, in the Roman sense of it, got to them.
How dare you, continue as you are, a governor of this school?
Have you no shame at all?
It is a good job that it is no longer legal,
where it allows me to grab your chin, twist it to right,
then sink my Gladius, past your clavicle, into your heart,
to give you, an honorable death.
for you serve nobody but your own selves.
Feel fortunate that I am unable to find you all out,
for I'd name and shame the lot of you.

Children need positive leaders, not weasels, that think of their own skin!
Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis..
though you, are welcome to the John Wilkes Booth version..
Sic semper tyrannis..
Not that you idiots, would know the difference!
Let me set my stall out here, as my former boss, Jimmy, made me do... Teachers, in certain classes, are failing to provide the kids, an education. Now, the head is sacked? Which part of this, am I not getting? Since teachers are appointed by the board of governors, along with the Head. The Head is sacked.. as though he/she made a bad choice.. And no governors, have fallen on their swords, metaphorically? As a former school governor, from a very prestigious school, I openly call into question, the rights of this schools governance, to continue as it has. Not a one of them has resigned, in spite of this? Are they waiting for some person to shout, arrogance? If so, consider it, spoken. Do you run around, in your own pomposity, declaring, to all and sundry, within earshot, that you are this schools governor? May the gods save all children, from your idiocy. At least a disgraced Senator, had the decency to fall upon a sword, before someone of the Prelate, in the Roman sense of it, got to them. How dare you, continue as you are, a governor of this school? Have you no shame at all? It is a good job that it is no longer legal, where it allows me to grab your chin, twist it to right, then sink my Gladius, past your clavicle, into your heart, to give you, an honorable death. for you serve nobody but your own selves. Feel fortunate that I am unable to find you all out, for I'd name and shame the lot of you. Children need positive leaders, not weasels, that think of their own skin! Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis.. though you, are welcome to the John Wilkes Booth version.. Sic semper tyrannis.. Not that you idiots, would know the difference! woolywords
  • Score: 8

12:58am Sat 21 Jun 14

woolywords says...

LT, I stand by what I've written here, unto death.
For in all of the recent debacles of schools going wrong, there has not been a single, solitary resignation of a school governor.
Yet, to be appointed in any school, the most lowliest or highest of teacher, has to pass the near, trial by fire of, the school governors.
Always united in, sacking a teacher, an head or any other, they are near infallible, whilst distancing themselves from any decision made. Like Maxine Carr commended to the school, Ian Huntley...they claim it was her and never their choice.
There would be a complete sea change, were it ever required that you invested money in a school.. the scuttle out of there, would be like a migration of red crabs, in Australia..
LT, I stand by what I've written here, unto death. For in all of the recent debacles of schools going wrong, there has not been a single, solitary resignation of a school governor. Yet, to be appointed in any school, the most lowliest or highest of teacher, has to pass the near, trial by fire of, the school governors. Always united in, sacking a teacher, an head or any other, they are near infallible, whilst distancing themselves from any decision made. Like Maxine Carr commended to the school, Ian Huntley...they claim it was her and never their choice. There would be a complete sea change, were it ever required that you invested money in a school.. the scuttle out of there, would be like a migration of red crabs, in Australia.. woolywords
  • Score: 7

1:10am Sat 21 Jun 14

woolywords says...

And if you know,
any of the school governors in this school,
there is no shame in naming them here.
For the shame is upon them.

They are allowed to defend themselves, in this open forum.
And if you know, any of the school governors in this school, there is no shame in naming them here. For the shame is upon them. They are allowed to defend themselves, in this open forum. woolywords
  • Score: 6

1:26am Sat 21 Jun 14

woolywords says...

My comments may seem mindless and petty to you,
but this is a child's future that they are playing with..
would you want me to stay silent, if it were your child?

Am guilty of many things, between me and you,
but I won't see any of our children, badly educated.
They have to grow up, well read and better educated,
to create a better world.

And if some day, they point at me, then state,
'You are a dinosaur of a past'.
I'd live with that, as I'd know that,
they had read and learned something.

Our kids, some future..
My comments may seem mindless and petty to you, but this is a child's future that they are playing with.. would you want me to stay silent, if it were your child? Am guilty of many things, between me and you, but I won't see any of our children, badly educated. They have to grow up, well read and better educated, to create a better world. And if some day, they point at me, then state, 'You are a dinosaur of a past'. I'd live with that, as I'd know that, they had read and learned something. Our kids, some future.. woolywords
  • Score: 9

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