Primary school named in bottom three in Suffolk

Tudor Primary School in Sudbury.  Headteacher Martin James with some of his pupils. ANL-140319-122237001
Tudor Primary School in Sudbury. Headteacher Martin James with some of his pupils. ANL-140319-122237001

The headteacher of a school labelled as the third worst in Suffolk has said the results were as expected and has vowed to keep improving.

Martin James’ comments came after Tudor Primary School in Sudbury was listed among the worst in the county in the latest performance league tables.

The figures are based on data from the school’s exams results, alongside children’s progress throughout their time at the school.

Despite this, Mr James said he was not worried and said the result showed improvements had been made since his arrival last year.

“This shows the hard work we have put in,” he said. “It could have been much worse.”

The school is currently in special measures after being deemed as “inadequate” in an Ofsted inspection in November 2013. Recent monitoring visits by Her Majesty’s Inspectors have, however, been positive.

In the latest visit on December 5, inspector Christopher Moodie said the school was making “reasonable progress” towards the removal of special measures, and said improvement was visible in many areas.

Mr James said if the school had been placed higher, then he would have questioned the previous inspections, describing the ambition of improving standards as a “work-in-progress”.

“The behaviour of pupils continues to improve, as does teaching standards, and we now have an effective management team,” said Mr James.

He added that the data the school was now producing was much more reliable and believed teachers were possibly being over-cautious after previously being too generous in charting pupils’ progress.

For Mr James, the data is not the primary motivating factor to proving Tudor Primary is a good school.

“I think that when it comes to choosing a school, the ethos comes ahead of the results at the time as it could be very different four years later,” he said.

“It’s whether they will be happy and safe and have an enriching learning experience.”

Since the Ofsted inspection, new reading schemes and a maths programme to identify gaps in pupils’ learning have been introduced, while a further senior teacher will also join the school in the new year.