William Torbitt School celebrates rapid Ofsted improvement

Published: 6 February 2019

Redbridge Council and William Torbitt Primary School hope the Government will revoke plans for the school’s forced academisation, after exceptionally rapid improvements have seen it rated ‘good’ after its latest inspection in the first week of term in January 2019.

Parents, staff, pupils, the council and campaigners originally opposed an academisation order imposed by the Department for Education following a poor rating by Ofsted last Summer.

Now, senior leaders have been praised for transforming the school in Eastern Avenue, Newbury Park so that it is a safe place where children thrive in a positive, nurturing environment.

Inspectors particularly highlighted the leadership of the interim headteacher, Clare Pike, and consultant deputy headteacher, Pavenjit Kettory, who are excellent role models. The Governing Body was described as ‘proactive’ and ‘well informed.’

Clare Pike said: “We are thrilled that inspectors have recognised the significant improvements that we have made, and in only twelve weeks since the last report. We had a clear vision of where the school needed to be and by introducing a whole new behaviour system, changing the learning environment and having a fantastic team of dedicated teachers, this was made possible.” 

The Chair of Governors, Rajesh Zala, said: “We always believed William Torbitt could make the changes needed without being converted into an academy and we now hope the Government will reconsider their plans after the recent inspection. Our team of consultant leaders and assistant headteachers have proved that staff have the capacity to improve in all the areas identified in an inspection report only published in September. Governors have the skills to hold leaders to account for further improvement and we are confident in the ongoing support of Redbridge Council.”

Cllr Elaine Norman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “This is a fantastic result for the school, the students, the teachers and the council. The report highlights the excellent progress by the school since the June 2018 inspection, thanks to peer support from other schools and teachers and the dedicated work of the council’s schools improvement team. It also demonstrates that we have the capacity to rapidly improve a school through swift action. The council hopes that the Regional Schools Commissioner and ministers will now consider the report carefully and will decide that forced academisation is definitely not needed now to turn this school around.”

The council have written to the Government to oppose the plans to academise the primary school.

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