Failing Lincolnshire school hailed for its 'incredible' turnaround
A Lincolnshire primary school which was failing two years ago has made an "incredible" recovery.
North County Primary School, in Gainsborough, was placed in special measures by the Government's education watchdog in December 2011.
But its latest Ofsted report has returned an overall good performance – with all four main categories of pupil achievement, teaching quality, children's behaviour and management leadership all at the same good level.
The improvements have coincided with the Ropery Road School changing its name to Mercer Wood Academy.
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The school now comes under the management team led by principal Sharron Close and business manager Rachel Ward.
The pair have steered another Gainsborough school – White's Wood Lane Community Junior – to academy status while improving standards at both sites.
Lead inspector David Anstead said: "Teaching is consistently good and some is outstanding.
"Mathematics is particularly well taught and this enables pupils to make exceptionally good progress in that subject.
"Pupils' behaviour is very good and they get on well with each other.
"Leadership and management are driving the rapid improvements evident in both teaching and achievement.
"The head teacher, school leaders and interim executive board provide outstanding leadership.
"Staff are extremely supportive and are totally behind the direction in which the school is going.
"They and the parents recognise just how much the school has improved in the last year."
Academically, the proportion of pupils attaining the nationally expected level four or above in English and mathematics went up – from 20 per cent in 2011 to 76 per cent last year.
Eleven-year-old Quinn Rushforth pinpointed why he thought such rapid progress had been achieved in maths.
"The teachers do get our brains thinking," he said. "And Mrs Trish Atkinson particularly makes our lessons fun and definitely not boring."
Classmate Hollie Jarrold, 10, said: "For example, we did a Crystal Maze investigation in a maths lesson. That was really good."
And Alannah Walker, also 10, said: "We were doing Brazil as a topic and, not only did we get to taste their chocolate, we also added up the amounts of chocolate which were in the equation."
Mrs Close said: "The school has been on an incredible journey to success.
"It has been an amazing 14 months where the whole team has worked so hard to move the school forward from its special measures Ofsted category.
"To go to 'good' in such a short space of time is most unusual and clearly reflects the massive changes that have taken place and all the hard work from the children.
"Indeed, this is the first time in the history of this school that it has been judged to be good."