St Martin’s CE Primary School Showing Signs of Improvement: Ofsted

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An inspector reported that a school previously labeled as inadequate by Ofsted is making strides in improvement. St. Martin’s CE Primary School, located in Shady Bower, Salisbury, was placed under special measures by Ofsted in January 2023. However, a monitoring inspection conducted in November revealed that the school’s leaders had made advancements in enhancing various aspects, including the quality of education. Headteacher Becky McManus commented, “Every decision made at St. Martin’s is centered around fulfilling the needs of our children.”

She added, “Our children and families have embraced the changes over the past year, contributing to the wonderful family atmosphere at St. Martin’s. It’s also gratifying for the staff to receive recognition for their dedicated efforts.”

‘Knowledge for Success’

The January 2023 inspection identified leadership and management, the quality of education, and the early years provision at the school as inadequate. Additionally, it emphasized that improvements were necessary in behavior, attitudes, and personal development.

Inspectors observed that pupils at the school “did not receive an acceptable standard of education” and noted that the curriculum lacked ambition, failing to provide students with the essential knowledge needed for success. Furthermore, pupils with special educational needs and disabilities were found to lack adequate support, as learning was not tailored to their needs, and staff did not fully understand their requirements.

Concerns regarding reading proficiency and children’s absenteeism were also raised during the inspection.

Significant difference

However, a monitoring inspection report following a visit in November indicated that the school had raised its expectations regarding the speed and success with which students learn to read. Additionally, the report mentioned that efforts had commenced to establish a comprehensive and ambitious curriculum.

Mrs. McManus expressed optimism about the school’s future, especially since it recently became a part of the Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust (DSAT). Mark Lacey, CEO of DSAT, commented, “The efforts led by Mrs. McManus and her team have already made a considerable impact, and the trajectory for further enhancement is clearly positive. Joining our Trust enables the school to access shared resources, substantial professional expertise, and high-quality professional development opportunities for staff.”

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