Gosport school rises from the brink of special measures

A SCHOOL which was in danger of being placed in special measures has been judged as good in its latest Ofsted report.

Thursday, 14th November 2019, 4:30 pm
Updated Friday, 15th November 2019, 5:19 pm

Peel Common Junior School in Gosport has never previously attained a good judgement and in its last three inspections had been categorised as requiring improvement (RI).

Head teacher, Andy Clarke, who was appointed in May 2017, said: ‘The pressure was really on. Normally a school would be placed in special measures after two RI judgements but the inspectors decided to give us another chance as the school had just been taken over by new leadership.’

Following the October inspection, the school was judged to be good in all areas. It’s a remarkable turnaround for the school whose emblem represents a phoenix rising from the flames.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Headteacher Andy Clarke with pupils (left to right) Daisy Fyfe, 10, Oakley Richardson, 10, Ruby Elloway, 9 and Lewis Long, 10. Picture: Sarah Standing

Mr Clarke said: ‘The emblem was chosen after the school burnt down in the 1980s. Getting this judgement epitomises this rise.’

The report praised the school for its positive learning environment and high expectations.

Lead inspector, Bruce Waelend, said: ‘All who work at the school have high expectations of pupils. Many parents highlighted the positive atmosphere in the school. They particularly appreciate the way that the school enables each pupil to flourish.’

Mr Clarke was particularly pleased the report centred around the children’s experience.

The report stated: ‘Pupils enjoy coming to school. They show pride in their work and interest in learning. They rise to expectations and achieve well.’

It’s a sentiment shared by pupils at the school.

Daisy Fyfe, 10, said: ‘The teachers are really encouraging and push us to our limits. I really enjoy coming to school. There are so many different clubs and everyone is included. Ofsted have judged the school as good but I think it’s better than that.’

Lewis Long, 10, added: ‘I like everything about the school. The teachers are really helpful and organise lessons to make learning fun.’

After the long journey to being recognised as good, Mr Clarke believes the report vindicates the hard work, skill and dedication of the staff.

‘There were cheers but also a few tears. The team is predominantly the same as had previously been deemed to require improvement. Finally, it was recognition for the staff of the dedication they have shown,’ he said.

One of the school’s targets for improvement is to improve pupil proficiency in writing.