Head praises war on coasting schools

Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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A FAREHAM head who presided over a major leap in exam results within a year of joining her school has backed plans to expand the lowest Ofsted category.

Nadine Powrie, head of Neville Lovett school, has congratulated Ofsted’s new chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw for his attack on ‘coasting’ schools.

At a summit at Downing Street today, Sir Michael was due to discuss proposals to scrap the ‘satisfactory’ judgement for inspections and create a new ‘requires improvement’ grade for satisfactory and unsatisfactory.

The move is designed to tackle the number of coasting schools that have remained stubbornly in the second to worst category over a number of inspections.

Schools requiring improvement would be reinspected within 12 to 18 months and any school failing to demonstrate improvement within three years would then be placed in special measures – putting its survival at risk.

Mrs Powrie, who recently celebrated a 63 per cent pass rate for five good GCSEs including English and maths, compared with 45 per cent a year earlier, is expecting an Ofsted inspection any time now.

She said: ‘This is absolutely the way forward. If we want our students to go to university we need to raise standards and coasting at satisfactory is not good enough.

‘I’m doing everything I can to get the school out of satisfactory. We are working flat out and I think at the moment we are on the borderline with good.

‘We need a second year of strong results and a few more adjustments – but we’re getting there and I’m aiming for outstanding.’