Merton primary school reveals OFSTED results


Improvements in maths and attendance but Merton Abbey Primary school still has some way to go in English, according to report

By Charles Forrester

A MERTON primary school has dramatically improved in some areas but has a long way to go in others according OFSTED.

Merton Abbey Primary School’s latest inspection report from education watchdog, OFSTED, was distributed to parents last week.

The report awarded the school an overall mark of 3 (satisfactory) based on visits to the school in late September by inspectors.

It revealed issues including attendance and mathematics had dramatically improved since the last inspection in 2007.

Head teacher Stella Fry said tackling the issue of attendance was of major concern to the school, particularly parents taking children out of class for family holidays.

“We have had to reinforce to parents they can’t take their children out of school to go on holiday or visit their home countries,” she said.

“Parents now have to get time out of class authorised by myself, and I do a thorough examination of the child’s attendance and performance.”

She blamed travel agents for offering cheap deals during term time, as parents are unable to afford the mark-ups associated with school holidays.

The report was critical of the school’s results in English, saying they were “below average” and not enough attention had been paid to writing.

Mrs Fry responded to the criticism by saying that children were now seeing how little parents physically wrote, preferring emailing and texting.

“Children have to see that technology such as mobile phones are ways of communication, not the basis of communicating,” she said.

New programmes to encourage writing are being arranged, with a school wide workshop on persuasive writing being held on 6 December.

She also discussed the problems with the changes to the National Curriculum in teaching literacy which was confusing for children and teachers alike.

The report highlighted the school was good for students from non-English speaking backgrounds, which was confirmed by parent Nishat Fatema of Deer Park.

Since migrating to the UK 18 months ago, she says her children’s English has improved greatly.

“My youngest son loves coming to school so much, he even wants to come on Saturdays,” she said.

The school has gone on drives to engage with the local community, which has also included English literacy classes for parents.

Mrs Fry added that only a small number of students were sitting their SATs, the majority of whom were from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds, which could skew statistical results if not properly understood.

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