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Staff and pupils proud after “a long battle” to turn King’s Farm Primary School, Gravesend, around.

Staff and pupils are feeling proud after “a long battle” to turn a failing school around.

King’s Farm Primary School in Cedar Avenue, Gravesend, was judged inadequate, and in September 2014 consultant head teacher Catherine Taylor was appointed to help make some drastic changes.

After an inspection last month, Ofsted found the school was good across three areas – leadership and management, behaviour and welfare, and early years – although it still required further improvement in the quality of teaching and outcomes for pupils.

Chris Jackson, head of school to be, and consultant Catherine Taylor with pupils from the school.
Chris Jackson, head of school to be, and consultant Catherine Taylor with pupils from the school.

Mrs Taylor said: “We’re absolutely delighted. The school has come a very long way.

“A new head of school, Chris Jackson, has been appointed to start in September. He is currently the head of school designate, so I’m pleased the school will continue to improve with him.

“Getting quality staff in was our biggest challenge. It’s very hard to recruit teachers in a school that’s in special measures, but with the help of fellow Cedar federation school Ifield we now have an excellent team.

“We didn’t have enough time for our new teachers to have an impact on the outcome of the pupils before the inspection, but I have no doubt the school will be good overall very soon, and hopefully outstanding in a few years.

“It’s been a battle, but so rewarding. We’re all very proud.”

Lead Ofsted inspector Theresa Phillips noted in her report: “Since the last inspection, leaders have relentlessly driven improvement. Their accurate knowledge of the school, and the highly positive ethos they have created, is helping to promote further improvement.”

She also said better teaching had meant gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills were closing.

Governors were said to be excellent, with the report stating: “They monitor the school closely and provide very effective challenge and support for school leaders.”

The report said the curriculum was “engaging and exciting”, disadvantaged pupils were well supported, and “the school’s care for its pupils’ welfare was outstanding”.

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