Head teacher Jo Sawyer makes pledge after Park Grove School's Ofsted rankings drop

Head teacher’s pledge after school's Ofsted rankings drop

Head teacher’s pledge after school's Ofsted rankings drop

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

THE head teacher at a York primary said she was working hard to make the most of pupils’ potential after the school dropped down the Ofsted rankings.

Park Grove School, in The Groves, has been rated as “needs improvement” under the new, tougher Ofsted framework, down on the previous report in 2008 which scored the school as good.

Head teacher Jo Sawyer said: “I’m pleased that the inspectors recognise that we’re working hard to put the right actions in place to realise all our pupils’ potential and that, in time, their full impact will be felt.

“They recognised our ‘rigorous agenda to drive up standards’ which we put in action earlier this year underpinning priorities they agreed are the right ones to secure improvement.

“This includes investing in extra teaching and professional advice, appointing a first-rate special educational needs co-ordinator and a pupil support team.

“We’re also developing our newly-appointed lead governors as well as our new subject leaders and senior leadership team. We’re prepared and committed to following our plan to take the school and pupils to the next level.”

After a visit in November inspectors found pupils’ achievement required improvement in the early years and Key Stage 1 because, over recent years, progress, including for pupils with special educational needs and the more able, had been too slow and pupils have fallen behind.

They also found the governing body was not holding the school to account and leading its direction well enough.

But inspectors praised Ms Sawyer, who took over last year, saying: “The new head teacher has already begun to make needed improvements.

“She has introduced effective systems to improve the quality of teaching and the progress pupils make. Priorities for development are the right ones and are being rigorously pursued.”

Maxine Squire, interim assistant director of education at City of York Council, said: “It is recognised that the present Ofsted framework is the most rigorous one yet, and is significantly different from the one used when the school was last inspected in 2008.

"While Ofsted has judged the school to be requiring improvement, it has highlighted the contribution made by the head teacher to leading improvement since she arrived in April.”

Janet Jacobi, a parent of two pupils, said: “Jo Sawyer really has a clear vision and this was picked up many times in the inspection and will now take the school forward. I believe with the staff, parents and children behind her, it is a win, win situation and I am so happy our children have years ahead of them at Park Grove School to gain the full benefit. I am now actually really excited for Park Grove.”

Comments (4)

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9:35am Sat 11 Jan 14

Dave Ruddock says...

are schools getting like circuses, pertform to the best standards at teacher level, when they are over worked, underpaid, teaching children, and lets be honest, that grow quicker and are computer based taught. Ofstead pushing pubils beyound. Teaching not Govenment high almighty standards. I do feel sorry for teachers being treated like circus animals, junp though hoops to achieve nigh on impossible standards.
are schools getting like circuses, pertform to the best standards at teacher level, when they are over worked, underpaid, teaching children, and lets be honest, that grow quicker and are computer based taught. Ofstead pushing pubils beyound. Teaching not Govenment high almighty standards. I do feel sorry for teachers being treated like circus animals, junp though hoops to achieve nigh on impossible standards. Dave Ruddock
  • Score: 2

10:16am Sat 11 Jan 14

MrsHudson says...

Park Grove is a good school where students achieve well, are happy and creative. Park Grove is different from many of the exam factory primaries - parents are welcomed in to the building, younger siblings know the classrooms as well as the children in them do, there is no uniform. I think the parents of Park Grove children are mostly ignoring the Ofsted report because we know the education are children are getting and we are happy with the school. I hope Miss Sawyer will balance making the developments Ofsted demand with keeping all that is unique and special about Park Grove.
Park Grove is a good school where students achieve well, are happy and creative. Park Grove is different from many of the exam factory primaries - parents are welcomed in to the building, younger siblings know the classrooms as well as the children in them do, there is no uniform. I think the parents of Park Grove children are mostly ignoring the Ofsted report because we know the education are children are getting and we are happy with the school. I hope Miss Sawyer will balance making the developments Ofsted demand with keeping all that is unique and special about Park Grove. MrsHudson
  • Score: 14

2:50pm Sat 11 Jan 14

welf_man says...

Schools' performance can fluctuate for all sorts of reasons, from pupils to teachers to resources and the OFSTED report is simply a snapshot, so most parents are able to make a reasonable assessment of the grading.

Unfortunately there is now the political context to consider, with schools being forced to convert to academies making the change in the OFSTED grading system more of a concern. If "good" is now equivalent to "needing improvement", how long until that becomes "failing", allowing conversion?

Michael Gove has made clear his desire to accelerate the conversion rate in order to achieve his mathematically-impos
sible goal of all schools being "above average" (someone really should get an 8-year-old to explain that to him!) so any reports that this have to be a cause for concern on that level if no other.
Schools' performance can fluctuate for all sorts of reasons, from pupils to teachers to resources and the OFSTED report is simply a snapshot, so most parents are able to make a reasonable assessment of the grading. Unfortunately there is now the political context to consider, with schools being forced to convert to academies making the change in the OFSTED grading system more of a concern. If "good" is now equivalent to "needing improvement", how long until that becomes "failing", allowing conversion? Michael Gove has made clear his desire to accelerate the conversion rate in order to achieve his mathematically-impos sible goal of all schools being "above average" (someone really should get an 8-year-old to explain that to him!) so any reports that this have to be a cause for concern on that level if no other. welf_man
  • Score: 14

3:42pm Sat 11 Jan 14

MouseHouse says...

Michael Gove is the most dangerous cabinet minister in this government of least losers. His idiotic reforms, knee jerk reactions and his willful ignorance will impact throughout the lives of the children currently at school. He is dangerously incompetent.

Good luck to the Park Grove School and all teachers under attack from Mr. Give and now being undermined by the MOT proposals from the Labour Party.
Michael Gove is the most dangerous cabinet minister in this government of least losers. His idiotic reforms, knee jerk reactions and his willful ignorance will impact throughout the lives of the children currently at school. He is dangerously incompetent. Good luck to the Park Grove School and all teachers under attack from Mr. Give and now being undermined by the MOT proposals from the Labour Party. MouseHouse
  • Score: 14

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