Published: March 29, 2012
Education expert helps Churchfield School after poor Ofsted report

An education expert has been drafted in to help Highbridge's Churchfield Primary School to improve its results before it settles into a new £4.6 million campus.

Claire Axten, pictured, who is a National Leader of Education and the headteacher of Brookside Primary School in Street, is visiting the Highbridge school regularly to support the headteacher and staff. She is also getting involved in the appointment of new teachers and reviewing lessons.

The 458 pupils of Churchfield Primary School are currently housed in the former St John’s Junior School and nine other classrooms in temporary buildings there.

Work on developing the former Beechfield Infant School site into the new primary school is due to finish in September.

The infant and junior schools were merged in September 2010 and inspected by Ofsted for the first time in January. In its report published earlier this week, Ofsted has placed the school in special measures and Mrs Axten’s visits are part of the improvement process.

Somerset County Council Cabinet Member John Osman said: "The Ofsted inspection has given a clear indication of how Churchfield School can improve, and the Council has been supporting the school since it was created 18 months ago."

"There is a determination for Churchfield School to become known for quality, and I’m sure we will see that once it occupies its new site."

Headteacher Wendy Nelder told "We are already addressing the Ofsted findings. We are focussing on the children’s education and Claire Axten has certainly been making a difference with her input."

"Bringing two schools together has presented some difficulties but moving to the new site in September will have a positive effect on everyone here, and put the memory of being an overcrowded school in temporary buildings firmly behind us."

Chairman of Governors Rosemary Parsons added: "The process of addressing the areas Ofsted want improving began within days of the inspection, and the governors will continue to support our staff and pupils who have all had a very difficult time working in a tough environment. Everyone is looking forward to moving to the new school and I’m sure that will have a positive effect on every aspect of school life."


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