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Headteacher of failing Mexborough primary school vows to tackle “inadequacies”

Michael Walker, Headteacher at Montagu Academy, Park Road, Mexborough. Picture: Marie Caley NSYT Montagu MC 4

Michael Walker, Headteacher at Montagu Academy, Park Road, Mexborough. Picture: Marie Caley NSYT Montagu MC 4

The new headteacher of a failing primary school has vowed to tackle “inadequacies” raised by government inspectors.

Montagu Primary School was placed into special measures by Ofsted inspectors in October last year.

The school was rated as “4 Inadequate” - the lowest possible - in three out of four categories, with teaching, pupil achievement and school leadership all coming under fierce criticism.

But inspectors visited in March and noted “reasonable progress” had been made and headteacher Michael Walker, who took over at the end of May, insisted the school was heading for a bright future.

The 30-year-old Barnsley man said: “The school will become fully re-branded as Montagu Academy in September and we will see a bright new era.

“We know there is a long way to go but we are already making improvements. We have adjusted teaching techniques to bring in more problem solving scenarios, which get the children to ask more questions.

“This improves their learning, keeps their interest and improves behaviour.”

He added: “We have members of staff who are championing different parts of the curriculum. We need to improve staff morale but we are already progressing that.”

The school will become an academy under sponsorship of the Wakefield City Academies Trust, much like Mexborough’s secondary school, which is also in special measures.

To mark the re-branding of the school, students have been working alongside Mexborough historians on a project about the history of the town.

There will be various displays, old pictures and arts and craft-themed activities when the school re-opens in the first week of September.

Mr Walker said: “Working with people in the community and projects which involve the whole school are two things we want to do more often.

“It opens the school up to the community and gets students learning in different ways.”

 

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