Monday, March 27, 2023

Harris primary chair maps out road to improvement

THE CHAIR of governors at Harris Primary Academy Chafford Hundred has told YT of the raft of measures in place in response to the recent Ofsted report.

The report judged that the school “required improvement” but the chair (and local councillor) Tunde Ojetola believes that the school is well underway to achieving this.

Cllr Ojetola said: “I, along with the rest of the governing body, principal and staff are obviously disappointed with the outcome of the inspection.

“We have however put an action in place to ensure that we deal with the issues raised by Ofsted and to ensure that the children have the best education.

“We wrote to all parents of the school to reassure them that Harris Federation, the governors and the staff are working on this making sure that all students are on track to make the progress they should especially in mathematics.

“Even with the report it is important to point out that the

1: 2012 ‘SATs’ results of 90.0% English, against 86.0% nationally and 82.6% for Thurrock and of 91.0% Maths, against 84.0% nationally andthe 82.9% for Thurrock.

2: The 2012 KS2 Results are: 8th overall in Thurrock and 5th overall for ‘non-mobile’ pupils, i.e. those who were on roll before Y5.

“It’s also worth pointing out that Ofsted’s view is “Schools that require improvement in order to become good or outstanding are not ‘schools causing concern’.

“As you will note from the report: “The school converted to an academy in a positive financial position as a result of careful decision-making. Governors have agreed to the use additional funds from the pupil premium to provide more small-group teaching.”

It is also worth noting that in the Community:

– We raised over £770 for Basildon and Thurrock Hospitals’ Polly Parrot appeal this term, through our Harvest Assembly and our Christmas Performances

– Our choir sang carols at IKEA Lakeside, helping to raise over £200 for the local branch of the RNIB

– We ran a wide range of after-school clubs, ranging from Astronomy to Film Club, in addition to football and netball.

– Although none of this now counts toward an Ofsted inspection grade, we believe these things are still an important part of school life and children’s wider education.


  1. Tunde me old mucker, you’ve answered your own question!

    Lord Harris and his cronies will be on the phone to you any minute now, telling you to stop all that ‘nonense’ that develops rounded and balanced children who’ll become responsible citizens and make a positive contribution to society!

    Instead of focussing on charity, fun and developing children’s social skills, self-esteem and resilience, what you need to do mate is: stop all fun activities, replace extra-curricular clubs with revision classes, focus solely on Maths and English at the expense of other subjects, create a clinical physical environment and teach just to the test!

    The Harris Academy…’qualifications’ (not ‘education’) with nice carpets!

  2. E.C.M you have hit the nail on the head, Education is no loger about teaching social skills and all round subjects, since the introduction of league tables it has all been about teaching around the tests, pupils are now coming out of education with qualifications but no social/business skills and have real trouble in a real world working environment.

    Teachers are becoming disaffected with the job as they are expected to be like robots and just teach the bits that will enable the pupils to pass the test paper and get the school up that league table.

    It is time to get back to the basics of education where pupils are taught life skills alongside the the R’s, only recently the CBI stated that a lot of school leavers are having to be retrained by employers in basic Maths and Engilsh as this was lacking in their education, also they had know idea how to present themselves in an interview.

  3. oops “also they had know idea how to present themselves in an interview.” should read ” “also they had no idea how to present themselves in an interview.”

  4. Oh dear Permain, have I touched a nerve? Does the truth hurt?

    In answer to your question, no not all, but the many who are now N.E.E.T or have enrolled at the Thurrock P.R.U!

  5. No you have not touched a nerve I actually agree with you! I take issue only that you make a sweeping generalisation about pupils that u have no knowledge of.

  6. Lambo surely the issue is about putting in place a balanced curriculum but i agree with you that teachers need to be given more say rather than lay people that may not have the expertise. Whilst the charity work is welcomed more needs to be done to raise standards in the primary phase too many stories about these primary schools failing not enough about how standards will be addressed.

  7. Colin, what do you actually mean when you say “raise standards in the primary phase”?

    Do you refer to just improving exam results?

    Are children going to be happier, more successful or enjoy a better quality of life, just because they attend the school’s at the top of SATs league tables? Of course not!

    Are ‘school days the best days of your life’? Sadly, I don’t believe they are any longer, partly due to all the pressure such tests place on teachers and children alike!

    Bring back some fun into education and promote school sport! Alas, the Olympic legacy hasn’t materialised and the feel good factor is dead and buried…certainly for those schools in the ‘relagation zone’!

    ‘Qualifications’ are invariably worthless (see the GCSE debacle), so focus on ‘education’…there is a huge difference you know and promote self-esteem, resilience and healthy lifestyles to counter obesity! Then and only then, will schools truely produce successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens who will have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to society!”

  8. E.C.M i accept some of your arguments but how will any of these kids get a job is they dont get the qualifications that matter? surely a sound education must include GCSE’s etc unless does this not impact on our society and economy in the long term -unemployment etc. Yes education should be fun but surely primary schools should be working to give children the basic foundation e.g. reading and writing and if this is not happening then ofsted is right to highlight these failings?

  9. Colin, what ‘are’ the qualifications that matter? Companies (rightly) don’t trust GCSEs today and invariably test potential employees to assess their true suitability for a job with their own exams!

    A recent survey suggested NEETs are umemployable, not because of a lack of qualifications, but because they are deficient of Social Skills!

    Reserach revealed only this week by the Prince’s Trust, states the young ‘cannot cope with daily life!

    Pupils effectively begin ‘work’ at 10 years of age in preparation for their SATs and continue on the ‘qualification’ quest in Secondary Schools at the expense of real life skills that would actually help them thrive in society! No wonder children are disaffected today!

    I agree the 3 Rs are crucial and should form the basic curriculum in Primary education. However, if school’s do not ‘educate’ children, choosing to solely focuss on ‘qualifications’ and league table positions, the implications for society long term are a huge cause for concern!


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