Underperforming East End school making “good progress”

AN UNDERPERFORMING Tower Hamlets primary school is making “good progress” under the direction of a new head teacher, education chiefs said.

Last year, Christchurch CoE Primary School, in Brick Lane was told to improve the quality of teaching by Ofsted inspectors as children were falling behind in English and Maths.

Head Gerard Loughran, who joined in September 2009, brought in a new wave of teachers and more teaching assistants.

While children in most years are still underachieving due to the “legacy” the school had to deal with, Mr Loughran has been praised for raising educational standards.

He told the Advertiser: “Standards had dropped in the previous three years and there were staffing issues. The Ofsted report pointed out were what we’d already identified so there were no surprises.

“I’ve established a fairly new teaching team and they are working extremely hard. They have high expectations for the children.”

Mr Loughran is also head of Sir John Cass’s Foundation Primary School in the City of London and was brought into Christchurch School to raise standards.

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Since 2002, failing schools have been able to collaborate with better achieving ones and run under the leadership of one head.

Ofsted inspector Christopher Russell said in this year’s report: “Much good work has been done to improve the quality of teaching. The progress of pupils in all year groups is accelerating.”

Pupils in Year 6 have been particularly pulled up over the past year and are now on par with the national average.

Other year groups are still lagging behind though.

Mr Russell added: “In most year groups a significant legacy of underachievement means that attainment, although improving rapidly, remains low.”

Special needs education has been improved, especially in the last three months and there are now more teaching assistants.

Mr Loughran could not put a time frame on when he expected the school to achieve a good grading but said he was confident in his “excellent teaching team”.

A council spokeswoman said: “Additional resources are being targeted towards the school which they are responding to positively.”