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Firm vows to turn around primary

By Gemma Constable
Trevor Averre-Beeson at Richmond Primary School
Trevor Averre-Beeson at Richmond Primary School

The leader of a company that aims to turn around the fortunes of struggling schools has vowed to bring an Island primary out of special measures within a year.

Kent County Council has appointed Lilac Sky Schools (LSS) to work with Richmond Primary in Sheerness.

The school in Nursery Close was placed into special measures in November last year, after a damning Ofsted report.

It is a three-year contract during which time the firm will have a dedicated team working on site.

Trevor Averre-Beeson, the firm’s director of education, said they don’t officially start work with the school until September but he has already appointed his team.

The new principal will be Annie Donaldson supported by associate principal Tony Rawdin, achievements leader Vicky Rezaie and business manager Emma Mottram.

Mr Averre-Beeson will be over-seeing the project for the duration.

He said: “Richmond has obviously failed and gone into special measures, but already we think this is a very nice school within a nice community.

“We have met the staff and spoken to them about what we are planning to do.

“We have visited several times and it’s pretty well organised and the children want to learn.

“The teachers and staff are really caring and working hard to make sure the school is a success.”

Mr Averre-Beeson said the Ofsted report which lead to the school going into special measures raised the issue of teacher planning in lessons.

Their main focus will be about getting strategies correct in classrooms and the procedures and policies in place to make sure when it comes to another Ofsted visit, the school is well placed to pass its inspection.

He does accept when a school has “failed” it’s easy to get into a negative cycle, but says the staff in the school are good and he is confident they can work together to turn the school around and create a positive atmosphere.

He said: “Within a year we will have moved the school out of special measures – we have no doubt about that.

“We have done the same in far more difficult and challenging circumstances.

“By the end of the three years, we want Ofsted to say there are some outstanding aspects to the school.

“That’s our clear aim and I’m confident we will achieve it.”

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