Headteacher ‘uncompromising’ in getting rid of weak teachers

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The headteacher of a school which received a disastrous Ofsted report in June has been praised for being ‘uncompromising’ in getting rid of weak teachers.

St Mary’s Church of England School in Fairford Leys went from being ‘outstanding’ to ‘requiring improvement’ and told that ‘teaching is not consistently good’.

But after a follow-up visit last month inspector Christine Raeside praised the actions taken by headteacher Patricia Gurton to drive up standards.

In a letter she told her:

“Along with your governing body, you are keenly focused on the rapid improvement of the school.

“You have taken difficult and uncompromising decisions about changes in staffing to benefit learning.

“You are intolerant of weak teaching; since your arrival, there has been a turnover of about half the staff.

“Teachers unable or unwilling to improve their practice have left.”

She said teachers no longer automatically get pay rises unless pupil achievement targets are met.

She added: “Your key message, that you ‘can’t live with even one pupil not doing as well as they should’, is understood loud and clear.”

Mrs Gurton was appointed in September 2012 following what Ofsted said ‘was a period of instability within the leadership and staffing of the school’.