‘Special measures’ Burnley school is improving

Lowerhouse Junior School, Liverpool Road, Burnley.
Lowerhouse Junior School, Liverpool Road, Burnley.

A failing Burnley primary school which was put into special measures earlier this year has taken steps towards improvement.

A monitoring inspection revealed Lowerhouse Junior School, in Liverpool Road, has introduced changes since the last inspection.

The latest report said the headteacher retired in April and has been replaced until December 31st by the deputy headteacher, who is being supported by an experienced executive headteacher.

Inspectors said: “The school improvement plan addresses all the weaknesses that were identified in the section 5 inspection. It is well written and includes clear success criteria and arrangements for leaders and governors to check on the impact of actions they are taking.

“The acting headteacher is implementing the plan systematically and rigorously.”

“Local authority consultants are coaching staff to help improve the quality of teaching.

“Teachers have agreed standards to follow with regard to lesson planning and marking. School leaders are checking lessons and pupils’ books regularly to ensure that high quality work becomes the norm.

“The school environment has been tidied and improved through the more thoughtful display of pupils’ work. The professional support of the executive headteacher is having a positive impact on developing leadership capacity.

“Well-considered plans are in place for sharing good practice in teaching, including by Lowerhouse teachers visiting the executive headteacher’s school.”

Governors were also said to be working towards improvement.

The report said they have taken steps to ensure they have robust and reliable information on which to evaluate the school’s effectiveness.

“They are receiving training from the local authority to equip them to challenge and support school leaders and teachers. The school’s spending plans have been revised so that pupil-premium funding is used properly to support eligible pupils. Governors now understand the relationship between pupils’ achievement and teachers’ pay and know how to ensure that pay performance is dealt with equitably to raise standards. “They are establishing closer individual links with classes to strengthen their insight.”

The school’s improvement plan was said to be fit for purpose though the school should not appoint newly-qualified teachers before the next monitoring report.