Strong leadership praised as Kenningtons Primary in Aveley rated as “Good”

EDUCATION bosses were buoyed this week after it was revealed that Kenningtons Primary in Aveley has been rated as Good by Ofsted.

The report is full of praise for all aspects of the school but makes particular mention of the headteacher.

The head, Jo Sawtell had come in for criticism in the past and made national news headlines when she “banned” parents from sports day.

But Ofsted have praised her for her strong leadership.

The report said:

1. The headteacher ensures everyone is focused on improving teaching and raising the pupils’ achievement. She has the full support of the strong team of senior and subject leaders.

2. Governors support the school well in its drive for improvement and check its progress carefully towards meeting its targets.

3. Good and improving teaching is leading to pupils making good progress in all year groups.

4. The teaching of writing and phonics (the sounds that letters in words represent) has improved and attainment in both areas is rising.

5. Children make good progress in the Nursery and Reception. Their strong relationships with adults and each other help them to settle quickly and enjoy their learning.

6. Pupils try their hardest in lessons. They show they are keen to do well by listening attentively to their teachers and each other.

7. Pupils are polite and well-mannered. They take pride in their appearance, their school and the responsibilities they undertake.

8. Pupils say that they feel safe in school, and that adults look after them well.

9. Topics are carefully planned so pupils can practise and reinforce basic skills as well as extend learning across other subjects.

10. The school develops an awareness and respect for diversity among the pupils. It is a harmonious place where pupils enjoy learning about different faiths and considering other people’s beliefs and values.

Thurrock Council’s leader and education portfolio holder, Cllr John Kent, welcomed the inspection outcome.

“Education is the route to a full and prosperous life for all our children and young people. That is why we have consistently said we want every school in the borough to be judged ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ by the experts at Ofsted.”

Cllr Kent was particularly pleased by the praise for the headteacher and her “strong” team of senior colleagues. Inspectors also praised the quality of teaching, the excellent support from the governors and the behaviour and achievement of pupils.

He said: “I would like to congratulate headteacher Jo Sawtell and her staff for the hard work they have put in. Clearly this has benefitted both their pupils and the school’s reputation.”

He continued: “The Thurrock Education Awards now underway offer the chance for pupils, parents and others to recognise the sort of leadership and effective teaching the inspectors found. These are the things that will ensure our children have the chances they deserve.”

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