24/02/2014

 An inspiring head teacher has transformed his school just six months after taking up his first headship.

Buckminster Primary School between Grantham and Melton Mowbray was placed in special measures by Ofsted in April last year, and Bishop Grosseteste University graduate Jon Brown (36) was appointed as its new head over the summer. Today staff, children and parents at the school are celebrating after Ofsted took the school out of special measures and rated it as good with outstanding features.

“For a school to come out of special measures so quickly is incredible – almost unprecedented,” said Mr Brown, who trained as a teacher and studied for his MA at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln. “Together we’ve turned the school round in just two terms, which is very rare. The biggest issue I faced when I arrived was that there were key areas that needed radical change. The school had limited leadership in place and the progress of children had eroded.I put firm plans in place and made new appointments, and in September we hit the ground running. The staff have had constant training about all elements of good to outstanding teaching and learning, and they’ve all pulled together.

“We now have very robust systems in place to identify and track children’s progress to make sure they achieve their full potential.”

Buckminster Primary School had its first monitoring visit by inspectors on 12th September 2013 and inspectors converted a further visit earlier this month into a full inspection. The school was taken out of special measures on Wednesday 5th February.”The staff and I have worked really hard to refocus the children’s attitude to learning, and the teamwork and community feel of the school is now very strong,” said Mr Brown.

He paid tribute to other local schools, CfBT Education Trust, Leicestershire County Council and staff at Bishop Grosseteste University, whom he described as “absolutely instrumental in providing continuous professional development. It’s fantastic to have an institution at the cutting edge of education innovation and research right on our doorstep,” he said. “So many of the skills I’ve had to employ at Buckminster were certainly born at BGU.”

“One of my very first lectures on outstanding teaching was about taking risk – I took a risk here and through hard work and dedication we have achieved our goals.”

Mr Brown is a member of the University Court at BGU and was made a fellow of Bishop Grosseteste University in 2007. He completed his MA in 2011 and graduated with his identical twin brother Nick, who is now Assistant Head of The Priory Academy LSST in Lincoln.

“The children, staff and governors have all played an integral part in the transformational changes that have now taken place,” he added. “The goal now is to get this school to outstanding across the board, where it deserves to be. I want the school to build its own vision and its own future involving children, parents and all the staff, and that’s something that will set it on its journey to being outstanding.”

• Bishop Grosseteste University was established in uphill Lincoln in January 1862 and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2012.
• It is an independent higher education institution which awards its own degrees at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate level.
• It changed its name from Bishop Grosseteste University College to Bishop Grosseteste University in November 2012.
• Buckminster Primary School is a small, rural school for children aged four to 11.
• The school is housed in a Victorian building on the private Buckminster Estate between the villages of Buckminster and Sewstern on the Lincolnshire / Leicestershire border.
• The Ofsted report published today rates Buckminster Primary School as good with outstanding features.
• The quality of teaching is rated as good, the achievement of pupils is good, the behaviour and safety of children is outstanding and leadership and management of the school is outstanding.
• To view the report visit the school’s website at http://www.buckminster.leics.sch.uk/ofsted.htm or download the PDF from the Cision newsroom, at http://mb.cision.com/Public/235/9541734/85939b1d4da1533a.pdf.

News release
24th February 2014

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