'Serious concern' over Norwich primary school

Steve DownesA Norwich primary school has been warned to expect an imminent inspection after a monitoring visit highlighted 'serious concerns'.Steve Downes

A Norwich primary school has been warned to expect an imminent inspection after a monitoring visit highlighted 'serious concerns'.

Larkman Primary on Clarkson Road was visited on January 26 as part of Ofsted's efforts to keep an eye on schools given a grade three 'satisfactory' rating at their previous inspection.

The school got its rating when it was fully inspected on March 6 and 7 2008, when it was told to:

t raise standards in reading among older pupils and maths in year two

t Better co-ordinate the use of information about pupils' progress to improve their learning

t raise the quality of teaching.

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After last month's monitoring visit, Ofsted inspector Ian Seath said: 'Having considered all the evidence I am of the opinion that at this time the school has made inadequate progress in making improvements and inadequate progress in demonstrating a better capacity for sustained improvement.'

He said headteacher Alison Clarke had taken the helm since the 2008 inspection and had restructured the school's leadership.

He said: 'The headteacher has been quick to rightly identify many of the issues facing the school, and the self-evaluation is broadly accurate. Changes have been made to much of what the school does.

'However, these are mostly recent or incomplete and therefore their full impact on standards has yet to be felt. Despite this, it is clear that persistent absence has improved from unacceptably high levels, as has behaviour which is now satisfactory.'

Mr Seath said attainment and progress was well below national averages at the last inspection and had 'declined further' since then.

t To see Mr Seath's letter to the school, visit www.ofsted.gov.uk.

t Yesterday the Evening News reported on Ofsted success stories for other local schools including Costessey Infant School. To check out more reports visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk

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