Ofsted: Special measures Todmorden school is on road to recovery

Thumbs up: Headteacher Elizabeth Lloyd, with Year 2 children at St Joseph's School, Todmorden
Thumbs up: Headteacher Elizabeth Lloyd, with Year 2 children at St Joseph's School, Todmorden

A school which was placed in special measures by education watchdog Ofsted two years ago is on the right road to recovery.

Ofsted Inspector Kirsty Godfrey visited the school on January 23 and 24 and has written to headteacher Mrs Elizabeth Lloyd outlining her findings.

Lessons: Children are enjoying challenging learning

Lessons: Children are enjoying challenging learning

Following extensive scrutiny, safeguarding is effective, the inspector concluded. Although the school still faces challenges it is making progress at an increasing pace to successfully tackle issues which led to the its poor rating. Some instability followed the 2016 report including substantial staffing changes, but the school was now getting to grips with the issues and pupils are already benefitting.

“You have been particularly effective in creating a culture where pupils are becoming less afraid to make mistakes and are starting to value the opportunity to carry out more challenging tasks. Parents I spoke to feel you have made significant improvements to the school in your short time in post. They say their children are happier and more interested in their learning and there is a greater focus on the importance of academic achievement,” said the letter.

Pupils’ progress in mathematics is much better and the teaching team is keen to address improvements that still need to be made in reading. Leaders are successfully tackling behavioural and absence issues and this is reflected by pupils’ improved learning and pride in their school, with next steps for further progress including a school development plan. “Pupils are very positive about their school and enjoy their learning, saying that teachers challenge them and make their learning interesting,” it says.

Mrs Lloyd said: “There is still work to be done, but this is encouraging. We are doing the right things to get the school back on track and that is down to the hard-work of the leadership team, the teachers, the parents and of course, the pupils.”