Pupils celebrate Ofsted report

St Giles CE J&I School in Pontefract has come out of special measures.
St Giles CE J&I School in Pontefract has come out of special measures.

STAFF and pupils at Pontefract’s St Giles’ CE J&I School are celebrating after education inspectors announced the school is now out of special measures.

Ofsted inspectors made a surprise visit to the Skinner Lane school last month and declared it was now “satisfactory” in teaching standards and pupils’ learning progress.

The school was placed in special measures – where schools are given extra help to make improvements – in July 2010 after Ofsted reported it was “failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education”, including unsatisfactory teaching methods and pupil attendance.

Mary Gibbons, appointed headteacher in April last year, said this week: “I am absolutely delighted that we have achieved so much in such a short time.

“It is all down to teamwork and a shared vision for St Giles’ School, its pupils, parents and everyone involved.

“Pupils are proud of their school. They enjoy lively and interesting lessons, underpinned by excellent relationships between themselves and staff.

“All pupils in school take part in music and singing on a regular basis and this has brought a positive energetic outlook to the whole school.”

The latest Ofsted report – following the inspection on February 1 and 2 – praised the school’s leadership and management, pupils’ good behaviour, “vibrant” curriculum, and “dramatic” improvement in attendance.

Recommendations were made to improve children’s reading and comprehension skills and increasing pupils’ chances of assessing their own work and each others.

John McLeod, St Giles’ interim executive board chairman, said: “I have really admired the determination of everyone at St Giles’ to get out of special measures.

“The staff and the children, have worked incredibly hard, and they thoroughly deserve this success.

“We appreciate the support of parents, our friends at All Saints’ and St Giles’ Churches, and in the Pontefract community, and we will look forward to going on to greater things in future.”