May 20 2013 Latest news:
By Elliot Furniss, Education Correspondent
Friday, March 8, 2013
A SCHOOL placed in special measures by Ofsted after being involved in an alleged £500,000 laptop scam is already making progress, inspectors have said.
Glemsford Community Primary School was left owing thousands of pounds after it unwittingly signed long-term leases on 100 laptop computers. Last July, Suffolk County Council dismissed the entire board of governors and replaced it with an interim executive board (IEB).
It also suspended head teacher Liz Steele – who later resigned – as a result of the alleged computer fraud.
The school is being run by joint acting headteachers Phil Illsley and Iain Birtwell but new head Clare Farrant, who is currently in charge at Crawford’s Primary School in Haughley, will take over after Easter.
The school was placed in special measures after receiving a critical inspection report published in January following an Inspection last October.
But following a special measures monitoring inspection on February 12, inspectors have praised the work of the acting heads and the IEB as well as the input from the council.
Inspector Ian Middleton said: “The acting headteachers use their wide experience to help develop the roles of senior staff, establish basic procedures, for example to track pupils’ progress, provide guidance and monitor the impact on the quality of teaching.
“The IEB has a thorough grasp of the strengths and weaknesses of the school. Their responsibilities are closely matched to improvement priorities. Their impact is wider, including financial management and communication with parents.”
Mr Illsley said everyone at the school was “very pleased” with the feedback and that he and Mr Birtwell had been well supported by the IEB, council and school community.
He said: “It shows that the schools is now heading in the right direction. Generally, we’re pleased overall with the picture that it paints and that is a picture we do recognise. There is something very positive about Glemsford and I think it’s got a great future.”