A HEADTEACHER is staying upbeat about the future of a troubled primary school.
Iris Cerny was drafted in to turn around the fortunes of Kingswood Infant School and Nursery, in Clay Hill Road, Basildon, in February.
Inspectors had labelled the school good for the past decade, but last year it was deemed to require improvement.
In the latest report, published on Friday, Ofsted found pupils do not make good enough progress, especially in maths and English.
Inspectors also found: ! Pupils lose interest in their work, because it is often too easy ! Teaching lacks variety ! Teachers have low expectations of their pupils ! Pupils are not always positive about learning.
Kingswood was first told it needed to improve in January 2013, and failed to make enough progress – especially in relation to setting pupil targets to improve grades.
Mrs Cerny, who is also headteacher of Whitmore Primary School, said she has spent the past five months turning Kingswood into a “much better place”.
She added: “Myself and the deputy head have made tremendous progress. It’s down to the hard work of our staff.
“We’re a very caring community, and we’re all committed to the school. We’ve got fabulous children and families.
“We’re looking to be good in the near future – we’ve already come very far.
“We’re very pleased with the report. On the front it doesn’t look too good, but when you read it, there are a lot of positives.”
Ofsted Inspector Michael Sutherland-Harper did acknowledge things were looking up.
He said: “The quality of teaching is now rising, behaviour is better and attainment and progress have improved.”
The school and nursery has 230 pupils, ranging in age from three to seven.
Ofsted praised the school for clear systems to report incidents and training in first aid, child protection and safeguarding.
Inspector Mr Sutherland- Harper added: “The school site is safe. The vast majority of parents feel their children are safe.
“The children themselves feel safe and say adults care for them well.”
Ofsted also recognised significant progress was already being made.
Teachers are now setting targets, and lessons are regularly monitored.
Inspectors also praised afterschool clubs, improved attendance and children’s pride in their appearance.
Kingswood is now working hard to ensure all subjects have a leader, who will check both the quality of teaching and pupil progress.