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St Thomas More Primary rated ‘requires improvement'

20 January 2017

​​​​​​​​​​Councillor Donna Martin Cabinet Member for Childrens Services.

A Middleton primary school has been rated 'requires improvement' by Ofsted, following 12 months of intervention by Rochdale Borough Council.

St Thomas More RC Primary School was rated as 'outstanding' in a previous inspection in 2012, but a decline in pupils' attainment and progress throughout the school led to the introduction of a new interim headteacher and governors in 2016.

In its most recent judgement, Ofsted criticised the school for having been too slow to recognise and tackle the drop in standards, but praised the new leadership for taking steps to improve the school's performance, adding that their work is "already having a positive impact."

'​Ofsted also praised pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, the school's effective use of pupil premium funding and its well-balanced and interesting curriculum.'

Recommendations to further improve the school included raising teachers' expectations of pupils, providing children with more challenging  work as soon as they are ready and helping them to develop problem solving skills in maths.

Ofsted also recommended developing the skills and knowledge of middle leaders, refining school assessment systems and improving governors' skills and understanding of information about school performance.

Councillor Donna Martin, Cabinet Member for Children's Se​rvices at Rochdale Borough Council, said: "We have worked extremely closely with the interim headteacher and governing board to improve standards at St Thomas More. I am grateful to Joanne Butterworth, her leadership team and the staff at the school for their hard work in 2016. We recognise there needs to be further improvement and a permanent headteacher will be appointed shortly to continue the positive progress of the past 12 months."​​​​