Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke-on-Trent primary school exits special measures

A previously failing primary school in Stoke-on-Trent has been taken out of special measures by Ofsted.

St Mark's Church of England Primary School in Shelton was placed in special measures in May 2009.

It was told to improve its teaching and the rigour of its pupil and teacher performance monitoring.

Ofsted inspectors visited St Mark's at the end of March and found that standards had been raised and pupils' achievements had improved.

The school, which has 395 pupils, was formally taken out of special measures on Wednesday.

Michelle Johnstone, who joined as head teacher in September 2010, said: "Everyone involved in the school is excited and extremely pleased that the school no longer requires special measures, and that all the hard work has been recognised.

'Another milestone'

"There is now a real sense of community and a good foundation upon which the school can build."

Sharon Menghini, the city council's director of children and young people's services, said: "To now have no schools in the city in special measures is an excellent achievement, and a very rare one for a local education authority.

"The success is another milestone for the city council, and builds on the work that has been carried out since children's services came out of government intervention almost a year ago."

The city council runs 98 schools and nurseries and is among about 30 local authorities in England to be free from any Ofsted special measures.

It comes almost a year after the council took back control of children's services after a three-year intervention from the government.

In 2007 the council's children's services was judged to be performing poorly and failed to meet government standards.

Three schools had been placed in special measures in the past four years. They were Stoke Minster Church of England Aided Primary School, Sandon Business and Enterprise College and St Mark's Church of England Primary School.

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