Larkswood Primary School in Chingford praised by Ofsted for turnaround after leaving special measures

Lynne Harrowell and Year Six pupils celebrating the good news

Lynne Harrowell and Year Six pupils celebrating the good news

First published in Waltham Forest East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

THE 'ruthless determination' of staff has transformed a failing school heavily criticised for letting down vulnerable children.

Larkswood Primary School was placed under special measures in September last year after Ofsted inspectors found a lack of leadership and poor teaching was adversly affecting boys, disabled children and those from poor backgrounds.

Now just a year after Lynne Harrowell was brought in to solve the crisis, Ofsted inspectors have noted vast improvements and handed the school a 'good' rating - two levels above its previous 'inadequate' rating.

The quality of teaching was praised and children are now said to the making good progress, following an inpection last month..

The watchdog noted the introduction of a scheme which sees older pupils helping younger children has resulted in improved behaviour.

Among the 684 pupils at the school, a much larger number than the average primary, there are around 20 different first languages.

Ofsted said staff now make an extra effort to help them progress.

"Their needs are identified quickly and a range of support provided to help them learn, such as extra support in the classroom, small-group work and specialist help when needed," it said.

"The headteacher, senior leaders and Interim Executive Board (IEB) have worked extremely hard and with ruthless determination and great success to move the school from inadequate to good in just over a year."

Mrs Harrowell said: "It is absolutely fantastic. I’m over the moon. It’s a huge jump and it shows how hard everyone has worked to get us here."

She added that raising teachers’ expectations of what their pupils can achieve and invloving parents in their children's education have been key to the swift improvement.

Inspectors concluded the school could achieve an 'outstanding' rating in future if it improved the progress of girls in maths.

IEB Chairwoman Jaynn Taylor said "The IEB are really proud of the staff and pupils, who have all worked extremely hard for the last year to achieve this success and we are sure that parents and the wider community feel the same."

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