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Staff and students ‘transform’ Wilberforce Primary School to shake off ‘special measures’ Ofsted tag

PUBLISHED: 09:02 07 May 2018

Education secretary visited Wilberforce Primary School earlier this year. Photo by Cat Alin Alecu

Education secretary visited Wilberforce Primary School earlier this year. Photo by Cat Alin Alecu

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A Queen’s Park primary school has shaken off its “special measures” tag after receiving a glowing report from Ofsted inspectors.

Wilberforce Primary School headteacher Claire Macfie (pictured with students) has been credited with turning the school's fortunes around after a glowing Ofsted report. Photo by Wilberforce Primary SchoolWilberforce Primary School headteacher Claire Macfie (pictured with students) has been credited with turning the school's fortunes around after a glowing Ofsted report. Photo by Wilberforce Primary School

Following a two-day visit to Wilberforce Primary School at the end of last term, inspectors lauded staff and students for “transforming” a school judged to be inadequate in April 2016.

Inspectors commented that pupils and staff “care deeply about each other and, as a result, pupils’ personal development and welfare are excellent”. Pupils were also said to behave “impeccably”.

This is a far cry from the school inspectors visited two years ago, when they stated that “staff morale is low” and students have a “lack of respect for adults”.

Many of the improvements at the Beethoven Street school, which is part of United Learning, were credited to headteacher Claire Macfie who joined the school back in 2016.

Rating leadership and management as “outstanding”, inspectors described Ms Macfie as an “inspirational headteacher [who] nurtures loyalty, respect and high expectations among staff and pupils, who has been a force for good both within the school and the local community”.

Ms Macfie said: “Everyone at Wilberforce is thrilled with this report, which recognises how far we have come over the past two years.

“We have wonderful teachers and support staff who have each played their part in transforming the school.

“The inspectors were full of praise for every aspect of our school and so each and every member of our staff can rightly take credit for the huge strides forward we have made.

“Together with our very supportive parents and local community, I have every confidence that we can continue to drive standards so that at the next inspection we are judged to be ‘outstanding’ by inspectors.”

Inspectors similarly praised the entire leadership team for having “one non-negotiable priority to improve the quality of education so that pupils achieve their best”.

Darran Ellison-Lee, primary director of United Learning, said: “This is a hugely complimentary report which outlines a whole series of positive attributes which are now embedded within Wilberforce. There is some exceptional work underway at the school and it is not an overstatement to say that the school has been transformed over the past two years. It is never easy to move out of special measures within two years. To do so and go even further to receive an inspection as positive as this is exceptional.”

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