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Top marks as Sennen School reverses its fortunes

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

Pupils and staff from Sennen School show their elation as the school achieves success. Buy this picture: www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/buyaphoto

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A SCHOOL that was under special measures imposed by Ofsted less than a year ago has become one of the top performing primary schools in the country in a dramatic change of fortune.

Every pupil at Sennen School who sat their Key Stage 2 in both English and maths in the last set of exams got at least a level 4, making the primary the only school in west Cornwall with a 100 per cent success rate across the board.

The school only got out of the special measures it was placed under by Ofsted in February last year, after it was given the education watchdog's lowest ranking following an inspection in 2010.

The results, which were 21 per cent above the national average, are a 30 per cent improvement on the year before and place the school among the top achievers in the country.

As recognition of its success, executive head teacher Tony Phillips received a letter from MP David Laws, Minister of State for Schools, congratulating the primary on its achievement.

Mr Phillips said all the staff were delighted.

He said: "This very deserved and welcome tribute recognises that the quality of teaching across the whole school, coupled with highly effective support for individual needs, is consistently good or better; with children clearly enjoying their learning.

"It is a privilege to work with such a dedicated team of staff and governors, and a similarly supportive community, who always put the children first."

The letter from Mr Laws is only sent out to schools that achieve 100 per cent level 4 or above in KS2 English and maths exams, as well as making expected progress in both core subjects.

Mr Laws informed Mr Phillips that the result has placed his school "amongst the top primary schools this year".

He also thanked staff, governors and pupils for their "hard work and success" and congratulated them for their "leadership in continuing the drive towards the highest standards of educational achievement".

A spokesman for Cornwall Council said Children's Services was delighted with the outstanding improvements at the school.

She said: "Members of the local authority's school improvement team have worked closely with the staff and governors and we would, once again, like to congratulate the school and its leaders on considerably raising its performance to be one of the top performing in the country.

"This is a tremendous achievement considering the school was in special measures this time last year. We are justly proud of the teachers, school leadership and the children and their accomplishments in warranting this accolade."

Mr Phillips said among the recent changes that have taken place at the school are the addition of high-quality off-site learning and planned activities based on first-hand experiences.

He added: "It just goes to show what can be achieved when the whole community aims high together."

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