The majority of schools that formed part of a group inspection announced by Ofsted last month have had their reports published. Ofsted announced it was sending inspectors to ten schools in Medway in June. It did this as it said it wanted to look at primary school education within Medway. In order to achieve this, they visited a range of schools including secondary academies, primary schools and a pupil referral unit.

All the schools and Medway Council have been happy to work with Ofsted to show the hard work being done by staff and pupils in each. Of the ten schools, two have so far been judged as good and five have been recorded as requiring improvement to be good – the grade just below good, which used to be called satisfactory. In two of these schools the leadership and management was judged to be good showing that they are improving rapidly.

Under the current inspection framework, a local authority school must demonstrate a 3 year trend of improvement to be judged as ‘good’. Two further schools are yet to have their reports finalised and these are expected to be published in September. Among those listed as good overall include All Faiths’ Children’s Community school, in Strood, which was marked as good for achievement of pupils and quality of teaching and outstanding for behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management. The school also received good at the inspection prior to this. The Ofsted report states: “Pupils make good progress, which is especially strong in English. This is because teaching is consistently good, and a growing proportion is outstanding. Teachers work hard to meet the particular needs of all pupils. It adds: “The headteacher is totally determined that all pupils achieve well, whatever their backgrounds or needs …Pupils’ behaviour is excellent both in and out of lessons …the work they do ignites their curiosity.

“Pupils have excellent attitudes to their learning. They want to do well and make good progress. They are hungry to learn.” Strood Academy has also received a good rating, which is an improvement on the satisfactory rating the school received at the last inspection. Fairview Community Primary and Napier Community Primary, in Gillingham, Stoke Community School, on the peninsula, Walderslade Primary, Thamesview Primary in Rainham, and the Bishop of Rochester Academy were all judged as requiring improvement to be good.

In relation to Fairview, inspectors stated ‘achievement across Key Stage 2 in recent years has not been good enough’ and that ‘teaching is not consistently good in Key Stage 2.’ However, previously unreleased indicative results for this year show an impressive 20 per cent increase in the proportion of children achieving Key Stage 2 Level four or better including reading, writing and maths. This means that 82 per cent of children at the school have achieved at least this level, which is the key measure used nationally. This result is expected to be above the national average when released later this year.

Inspectors also gave Fairview, as well as Thames View and Stoke, a good rating for leadership and management. In Stoke Community School’s report it also states: ‘pupils progress is good overall’ and ‘teaching is good’. It added that the school required improvement because some pupils take too many absences. The report recognises staff are taking stronger action against this. Cllr Mike O’Brien, Portfolio Holder for Children Services, said: “I am pleased that a number of the schools recently inspected received a good rating and that inspectors recognised that staff and pupils across all the schools they visited work very hard, sometimes under challenging conditions.

“The council will continue working with all schools across the area to help drive through further improvement and to give all the help it can.” Barbara Peacock, Director of Children and Adults Services at Medway Council, added: “I am pleased the inspectors praised the work going on in these schools and were able to see just how keen our young people are to learn and how much they enjoy school time. “The council works closely with local schools to help bring about improvement. It is pleasing that Ofsted recognises that there is much evidence of this in many of the the schools they visited.”

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