Kilburn primary school transformed into ‘outstanding’ in 4 years

Headteacher Juliette Jackson said she ‘changed everything’ when she was appointed in 2007

A primary school that was deemed a ‘cause for concern’ has transformed itself into a school rated outstanding by Ofsted in just four years.

St. Eugene de Mazenod Catholic Primary School in Mazenod Avenue, Kilburn, was labelled ‘exceptional’ by inspectors, who singled out pupil attainment and its positive atmosphere for particular praise.

It comes after Juliette Jackson was appointed headteacher in 2007 following concerns at Camden Council that the school was failing to fulfil its potential.

Mrs Jackson, said: “St Eugene’s has gone from strength to strength and to receive an outstanding Ofsted shows how much of an improvement has been made at the school. I feel very lucky to be working at such a lovely school and would like to thank everyone, children, parents and staff for all their hard work.”

Talking about how she set about turning the school around, Mrs Jackson, said she ‘changed everything’.

She said: “The school suffered from the usual problems of a failing school – poor behaviour, poor teaching, a poor learning environment, and a lack of parental engagement.

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“We changed everything very quickly, there was no time to hang around as children only get one chance at primary school.

“We had to establish a base line of expectation by staff so that they knew what was expected of them. They rose to that challenge very quickly and that was fantastic.”

She added: “Parents are delightful and very helpful. They are in the school the whole time doing all sorts of things to help us.”

Inspectors praised the ‘very positive atmosphere which permeates the school’ and added that the ‘pupils’ joy of the school is palpable’.

The outstanding rating puts the school in the top eight per cent in the country.

Councillors welcomed the news, which they said was down to the hard work and dedication of staff.

Cllr Heather Johnson, cabinet member for children schools and families, said: “This is great news and a well deserved recognition of all the hard work of the staff at St Eugene’s School.

“I am delighted the inspectors highlighted how the high expectation of staff at the school leads to great pupil progress and how the school’s positive atmosphere contributes to the pupils’ learning.”

Mrs Jackson has also helped St Eugene’s partner school Our Lady’s Catholic Primary in Camden, come out of special measures six months early.

Inspectors made a special mention of how successful the partnership had been for both schools. The governors have agreed that the partnership will continue.