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Rocky primary school now on solid ground

PUBLISHED: 16:01 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:51 07 September 2010

A KENTISH Town primary school is on the mend after enjoying a period of calm, say government inspectors. Pupils at St Patrick's Catholic school have been through difficult times in recent years with headteachers coming and going

Ben McPartland

A KENTISH Town primary school is on the mend after enjoying a period of calm, say government inspectors.

Pupils at St Patrick's Catholic school have been through difficult times in recent years with headteachers coming and going.

But when inspectors from Ofsted visited the Holmes Road site a month ago they praised the current headteacher Sean Cranitch for bringing back some stability.

The school was given an overall rating of "good" and inspectors said it was improving.

"In a short time the headteacher has brought stability to the school," they said.

"He is ably supported by the acting deputy headteacher and the newly appointed senior leadership team. This is enabling the school to continue with its development programme and gives it a good capacity to improve."

Mr Cranitch said the first thing he needed to do after arriving in September 2006 was to make the children feel secure.

He said: "We want them to be safe and to be happy. That needs to be in place before we can start to make progress in motivating them to learn. Now we have a very stable and talented staff who are enthusiastic about teaching and delivering the curriculum.

"It's a great place to be educated in this part of London.

"We have a good school and an improving school but we want to be an outstanding school and there's no reason why we cannot be. With the children we have, who reflect our multicultural community, there is no reason why we cannot be an outstanding school in a few years' time."

Many of St Patrick's 221 pupils come from ethnic minorities for whom English is not their first language.

There are above average numbers of children with learning difficulties and disabilities.

And since many pupils come from areas of deprivation around St Patrick's, a high proportion are eligible for free school dinners.

But inspectors acknowledged the development made by youngsters at the primary, which is one of the oldest Catholic schools in London.

"Pupils' personal development is good," they said. "The headteacher is the driving force behind eradicating poor behaviour. Pupils clearly enjoy school and demonstrate a positive attitude to work.

"They understand the importance for their futures of doing well. As one commented, 'If you get a good education, when you grow up, you get a good job'."

ben.mcpartland@hamhigh.co.uk


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