Head teacher of critcised Lakeside Primary at Clifton Moor, vows to give kids a better start

Debbie Cousins

Debbie Cousins

Updated in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A HEAD teacher says she is determined to ensure pupils receive the best possible education after a watchdog said improvements were required at her school.

Ofsted criticised Lakeside Primary at Clifton Moor in a report published after an inspection on May 21 and 22.

It claimed governors ‘took their eyes off the ball’ after its last inspection and therefore failed to notice a 'failing performance'.

It said standards reached by pupils were lower than they should be from their starting points, and attainment in maths was lower than in writing and reading because the quality of teaching was inconsistent as pupils moved through the school.

The report also said teachers did not give pupils clear enough examples of what they were expected to do.

However, it said that with good support from the local authority, head teacher Debbie Cousins had ensured the decline in performance had been halted and the school was now on an 'upward trajectory,' pupils were well behaved and felt secure and safe, and morale was high.

Mrs Cousins, who has been in post only a year, said she and her team were disappointed by the the report's outcome and were more determined than ever to ensure pupils received the best possible education in the highest quality learning environment.

“We are delighted that the report does highlight the happiness of our pupils and the improvements we have implemented over the past year resulting in good pupil progress," she said.

“I am dedicated and passionate about our school and about our children achieving the best that they can achieve and I will not stop driving for this goal at Lakeside Primary.”

Governor's chair Calum Jack said they felt they had made a 'great decision' in employing Mrs Cousins, and children were engaged and happy, teachers were motivated and the school was starting to see the positive benefits of the initiatives the team was introducing.

Maxine Squire, assistant director education and skills at City of York Council, said Ofsted's present framework was the most rigorous one yet, and while it had judged Lakeside to be requiring improvement, it had highlighted the head teacher's contribution to leading improvement in her first year.

"We are working hard with this committed and far-sighted head, the whole school and governors to secure an Ofsted judgement of ‘good’ as quickly as possible," she added.

Comments (8)

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7:16pm Fri 27 Jun 14

bonjour says...

There would appear to be quite a number of York Primary schools that are being judged to be underperforming.

Does anyone out there know the exact proportion of York Primary schools that are being judged INADEQUATE or REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT and how this compares with Local Authorities of a similar type?

If the evidence is that York as an Authority is underperforming, who is responsible and what is being done about it.?
There would appear to be quite a number of York Primary schools that are being judged to be underperforming. Does anyone out there know the exact proportion of York Primary schools that are being judged INADEQUATE or REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT and how this compares with Local Authorities of a similar type? If the evidence is that York as an Authority is underperforming, who is responsible and what is being done about it.? bonjour
  • Score: 4

9:01pm Fri 27 Jun 14

ulysees says...

It is good to see the PRESS showing a balance in reporting. Usually we only get to hear of schools that are supposedly coming out of difficulties. It is equally relevant to hear of those that are declining in standards.
Have you noticed posters outside schools indicating that they have been judged a GOOD school on their OFSTED report. I have yet to see a school display a banner indicating that they have been judged INADEQUATE, strange that isn't it
It is good to see the PRESS showing a balance in reporting. Usually we only get to hear of schools that are supposedly coming out of difficulties. It is equally relevant to hear of those that are declining in standards. Have you noticed posters outside schools indicating that they have been judged a GOOD school on their OFSTED report. I have yet to see a school display a banner indicating that they have been judged INADEQUATE, strange that isn't it ulysees
  • Score: 1

9:30pm Fri 27 Jun 14

ReginaldBiscuit says...

Remember, this is the OFSTED that rated schools in Birmingham outstanding only to quickly backpedal by downgrading the same schools to inadequate at the behest of the government because of an alledged islamic plot.

OFSTED are like any of the other OF-branded organisations that are supposed to act as a judge and jury in their own particular area of 'expertise' (Look at the failures of OFGEM to impose adequate fines and restrictons on the energy market.) What OFSTED say is nonsense. They are a bloated and corpulent leech of an organisation staffed by pious self-serving egotists drunk on power.
Remember, this is the OFSTED that rated schools in Birmingham outstanding only to quickly backpedal by downgrading the same schools to inadequate at the behest of the government because of an alledged islamic plot. OFSTED are like any of the other OF-branded organisations that are supposed to act as a judge and jury in their own particular area of 'expertise' (Look at the failures of OFGEM to impose adequate fines and restrictons on the energy market.) What OFSTED say is nonsense. They are a bloated and corpulent leech of an organisation staffed by pious self-serving egotists drunk on power. ReginaldBiscuit
  • Score: 7

11:58pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Gt24at says...

bonjour wrote:
There would appear to be quite a number of York Primary schools that are being judged to be underperforming.

Does anyone out there know the exact proportion of York Primary schools that are being judged INADEQUATE or REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT and how this compares with Local Authorities of a similar type?

If the evidence is that York as an Authority is underperforming, who is responsible and what is being done about it.?
Agree - is there a list of these schools, we need to know.
[quote][p][bold]bonjour[/bold] wrote: There would appear to be quite a number of York Primary schools that are being judged to be underperforming. Does anyone out there know the exact proportion of York Primary schools that are being judged INADEQUATE or REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT and how this compares with Local Authorities of a similar type? If the evidence is that York as an Authority is underperforming, who is responsible and what is being done about it.?[/p][/quote]Agree - is there a list of these schools, we need to know. Gt24at
  • Score: 2

10:14am Sat 28 Jun 14

PMyork says...

Just looked on locatings.com

There appear to be 7 schools in central york with a requires improvement rating.
Just looked on locatings.com There appear to be 7 schools in central york with a requires improvement rating. PMyork
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Stevie D says...

bonjour wrote:
There would appear to be quite a number of York Primary schools that are being judged to be underperforming.

Does anyone out there know the exact proportion of York Primary schools that are being judged INADEQUATE or REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT and how this compares with Local Authorities of a similar type?

If the evidence is that York as an Authority is underperforming, who is responsible and what is being done about it.?
There are no big secrets, all the reports are published on Ofsted's website for people who take the time to look.

OK, I'll look it up for you.

Schools that require improvement or are inadequate in York: Acomb, Burton Green, Haxby Road, Lakeside, New Earswick, Park Grove, St Lawrence's, Wigginton, Woodthorpe - and at secondary only Canon Lee (now that Burnholme has closed).

According to www.watchsted.com, York is the 49th best performing council in the country (out of 152), with 83% of schools being good or outstanding. Or, change the data round, and it's 27th best, with 88% of pupils being in good or better schools. Most of the councils that are doing better than York are in London, where they get massively more funding.

No, it's not perfect, but it's better than average, and a lot better than our neighbours in North Yorkshire and East Riding. While there have been a few schools dropping down, there have been more than have either re-gained status as "good" or have got up there for the first time over the last couple of years.
[quote][p][bold]bonjour[/bold] wrote: There would appear to be quite a number of York Primary schools that are being judged to be underperforming. Does anyone out there know the exact proportion of York Primary schools that are being judged INADEQUATE or REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT and how this compares with Local Authorities of a similar type? If the evidence is that York as an Authority is underperforming, who is responsible and what is being done about it.?[/p][/quote]There are no big secrets, all the reports are published on Ofsted's website for people who take the time to look. OK, I'll look it up for you. Schools that require improvement or are inadequate in York: Acomb, Burton Green, Haxby Road, Lakeside, New Earswick, Park Grove, St Lawrence's, Wigginton, Woodthorpe - and at secondary only Canon Lee (now that Burnholme has closed). According to [bold]www.watchsted.com[/bold], York is the 49th best performing council in the country (out of 152), with 83% of schools being good or outstanding. Or, change the data round, and it's 27th best, with 88% of [italic]pupils[/italic] being in good or better schools. Most of the councils that are doing better than York are in London, where they get massively more funding. No, it's not perfect, but it's better than average, and a lot better than our neighbours in North Yorkshire and East Riding. While there have been a few schools dropping down, there have been more than have either re-gained status as "good" or have got up there for the first time over the last couple of years. Stevie D
  • Score: 4

1:24pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Stevie D says...

ulysees wrote:
It is good to see the PRESS showing a balance in reporting. Usually we only get to hear of schools that are supposedly coming out of difficulties. It is equally relevant to hear of those that are declining in standards.
Have you noticed posters outside schools indicating that they have been judged a GOOD school on their OFSTED report. I have yet to see a school display a banner indicating that they have been judged INADEQUATE, strange that isn't it
Well ... duh ... that's just basic advertising, innit.

I don't see big banners outside Stoneacre proudly saying "Buy the new Ford Ka, rated just one star and the worst in its class by What Car!". So why would you think schools should be any different?
[quote][p][bold]ulysees[/bold] wrote: It is good to see the PRESS showing a balance in reporting. Usually we only get to hear of schools that are supposedly coming out of difficulties. It is equally relevant to hear of those that are declining in standards. Have you noticed posters outside schools indicating that they have been judged a GOOD school on their OFSTED report. I have yet to see a school display a banner indicating that they have been judged INADEQUATE, strange that isn't it[/p][/quote]Well ... duh ... that's just basic advertising, innit. I don't see big banners outside Stoneacre proudly saying "Buy the new Ford Ka, rated just one star and the worst in its class by What Car!". So why would you think schools should be any different? Stevie D
  • Score: -4

12:30pm Mon 30 Jun 14

studentteacher says...

People need to realise that Ofsted gradings have been made tougher over recent years with 'requires improvement' replacing the 'satisfactory' rating. THere is therefore a fine line between the rating 'good' and 'requires improvement' as there is no rating in between. I really hope Lakeside turn it around so that they don't lose their reputation as a good school.

Until you become a teacher yourself and understand the pressure on schools and teachers to ensure EVERY child progresses in EVERY lesson EVERY day...please be assured that teachers are doing their best, but sometimes their best is not good enough, according to Ofsted.

I would only start worrying if Lakeside are still 'requiring improvement' after a year or so.
People need to realise that Ofsted gradings have been made tougher over recent years with 'requires improvement' replacing the 'satisfactory' rating. THere is therefore a fine line between the rating 'good' and 'requires improvement' as there is no rating in between. I really hope Lakeside turn it around so that they don't lose their reputation as a good school. Until you become a teacher yourself and understand the pressure on schools and teachers to ensure EVERY child progresses in EVERY lesson EVERY day...please be assured that teachers are doing their best, but sometimes their best is not good enough, according to Ofsted. I would only start worrying if Lakeside are still 'requiring improvement' after a year or so. studentteacher
  • Score: 4
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