Messing-cum-Inworth Primary School is a struggling school near Colchester. Ofsted put the school under “special measures” in March 2011, which means that has been failing to provide an acceptable minimum level of education and also is lacking in solid leadership. Such school receive more frequent, and unannounced, Ofsted visits, and management, teaching staff and PTA members can be dismissed and replaced by an Ofsted appointed committee. Continued poor performance can result in closure.
Ofsted’s April 2012 report for Messing-cum-Inworth Primary School did find that progress over the last year has been satisfactory. Ofsted have also stated that Messing-cum-Inworth Primary School cannot employ newly qualified teachers.
Since Ofted re-classified the school more pupils have left, leaving just 40 children and 3 teachers at the school. However, a private school in Chelmsford has decided to provide assistance and support in an attempt to improve the school enough to save it from closure. This is the first case of a private school sponsoring a failing state school.
New Hall Help Manage Messing-cum-Inworth
New Hall School is a private Catholic school in north Chelmsford, and rated as one of the best schools in Essex. New Hall’s principal, Katherine Jeffrey, will be acting as executive head at Messing-cum-Inworth. She will use her experience in running one of the country’s best schools and tap into resources at New Hall to help implement new teaching methods and oversee management and education.
Executive heads are rare and there are no set rules on how they should go about revitalizing a school. So the development and growth of Messing-cum-Inworth will be in Katherine Jeffrey’s hands.
Messing-cum-Inworth’s main areas for improvement are:
- raising teachers’ expectations of what pupils can do
- ensuring that lesson time is fully utilised and pupils all work at a good pace
- improving the facilities in which Reception Year children play and learn, and giving them more access to the outside area
- always setting work that helps pupils to build on what they know and extends their learning
- giving pupils more practical hands-on experience of carrying out investigations for themselves in science
- improving the use of assessment and marking.
This indicates where the main problems have been within the school and provide New Hall a clear route to follow to help improve conditions.
Partnerships and Collorabtion
In a time when schools are suffering from financial cuts like all other parts of society it is important for new partnerships to be formed. This move by New Hall is radical but yet fits in with the coalition government’s idea of the “Big Society”. A wealthy school with an excellent track record can provide resources, skills, experience and knowledge in a way that a local council cannot.
Hopefully in a few years time we will be able to report that Messing-cum-Inworth Primary School is receiving new students again and that Ofsted reports rate it as good or even excellent.