Hornchurch school is improving

A Hornchurch primary school which is in special measures is now making satisfactory progress.

Wykeham Primary School, in Rainsford Way, was put in special measures by Ofsted in 2009.

But inspectors said the school had improved when they last monitored it in February.

Despite this it will continue to stay in special measures and be monitored until it has made sufficient progress.

When Wykeham was put into special measures, which means it is under council control until it has made sufficient improvements, it was asked to improve pupils’ progress quicker; involve teachers more in checking progress and addressing underachievement.

Teachers were asked to raise their expectations and improve their subject knowledge, while leaders and governors were asked to evaluate the school’s work more vigorously.

The inspector Heather Yaxley said in her report published last week improvements had been made and pupils in years two and five were making the most rapid progress.

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She added: “Teachers have been steadfast in their determination to improve their teaching. They have taken advice and are positive about the support that they receive.”

The head teacher has been on sick leave since September 2010, but the council appointed an executive head teacher since.

Roles of the senior staff were reviewed and leaders have been appointed for each subject.

Mrs Yaxley said that the governing body has improved and is more searching in its questions of the school’s work, and no longer needs the help of the council.

But the school was asked to make further improvements to attendance levels.

Inspectors noted that pupils did not always arrive on time for the start of lessons or settle quickly enough between tasks, but the school is taking steps to improve by not allowing holidays during term time and working with the education welfare officer.