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Academy bid for 'failing' Blackburn primary school
A PRIMARY school which has been in placed in special measures looks set to become an academy.
St Aidan's CofE Primary School is expected to be turned into an academy by the Blackburn Church of England Diocese. Cidari Education is the diocese’s academy arm and it is now looking to sponsor the Mill Hill school from September.
The governing body is said to be in ‘advanced discussions’.
The diocese and experts in failing schools were also said to have stepped in recently, according to a recent Ofsted inspection.
Inspector Alan Torr said: “Four highly-qualified and experienced educational professionals have been appointed to the governing body.
“These include a headteacher and senior leader from a secondary school and the director of diocesan education.
“As a result of their input, the level of challenge to the school to improve standards has increased and they have helped to improve the skills and knowledge of other members of the governing body.
“The governors are taking appropriate action to secure the long-term future and stability of the school.
“The school’s capacity to improve has begun to strengthen. Teaching staff now make presentations to the governing body and have become more accountable for their work.
“They have assigned subjects to lead and some have links with networks of teachers who lead subjects in other schools.
“Staff have been to visit other staff at a school that was judged as outstanding at its previous inspection.”
Mr Torr said improvements had already taken place.
He said: “The acting headteacher has changed the timetable to ensure there is a set time in every class for reading activities to take place.
“They have changed how reading is taught to make sure the books each group of pupils is learning to read is matched to their reading abilities.
“It is too early to determine if these actions have raised standards but senior leaders have noted that pupils are more involved in and enthusiastic about reading, more confident and more fluent.”
The school, rated as good last year, was found inadequate in January. In 2012 the school was praised for major improvements in coming out of special measures for the first time since October 2007.
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