Priory Primary School rated good after 'worst ever' claim

Headteacher Jill Bennett outside the school with the latest Ofsted report Priory Primary School is now rated good in all four areas assessed

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A school an Ofsted inspector once dubbed "the worst she had seen" is now rated good.

Jill Bennett had been acting head teacher at Priory Primary School in Dudley for a few days before it was put into special measures.

In July 2012, inspectors saw a pupil assaulting a teaching assistant who tried to stop a fight.

The watchdog's inspector Helen Morrison said it was "the worst school she had seen", said current head Ms Bennett.

It was then rated inadequate in all four areas assessed by Ofsted.

The watchdog said at the time there was:

Since the poor inspection

  • 17 teachers left and were replaced, as did eight teaching assistants. That is out of about 20 of each at the school.
  • More than 10 pupils were excluded for bad behaviour.
  • There is now a yellow and red card system for bad behaviour.
  • There is a "Hall of Fame" of the school's former pupils to inspire current students. The display includes "Busby Babe" Duncan Edwards, actors Jason and Jamie Capewell, England women's footballer Emily Westwood and Major Jill Sheldon.
  • Top-performing youngsters chosen in each class are invited to a tea party with Miss Bennett every Friday as a reward.
  • significant underachievement by pupils
  • weak teaching
  • inadequate leadership and management
  • below average attendance
  • concern about the amount of misbehaviour around the school and in lessons

Earlier, the school released its latest inspection, which deems it good in all four areas assessed.

Ms Bennett said her motivation to reverse the school's fortunes came because she attended it herself as a child, as did her sisters Glenda and Andrea, and Ms Bennett's own two children, Alex and Megan.

She said: "The area has always been deprived, but I asked myself, 'why couldn't Priory children have good opportunities?

"I told pupils, I was a good student myself, never an A* student, but I was always determined and that's what we would be."

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