‘Troubled’ school in Islington out of special measures

Headteacher Harsha Patel celebrates with her pupils

Headteacher Harsha Patel celebrates with her pupils - Credit: Archant

Primary school slammed by Ofsted 16 months ago is now ‘transformed’

Councillor Paul Convery, whose children attend the school, said he believes the school will be outst

Councillor Paul Convery, whose children attend the school, said he believes the school will be outstanding in two years time. - Credit: Archant

A primary school which was lambasted by Ofsted for racist and homophobic bullying has made its way out of special measures in less than 16 months.

The entire board of governors stepped down at Copenhagen Primary in Treaty Street after the damning report published in November 2013, in which the school was rated inadequate in all four areas.

At the time of Ofsted’s visit in September 2013, current headteacher Harsha Patel was just eight days into her first official headship, but following another full inspection in March the school has now been rated good in all but one area.

Miss Patel puts the rapid turnaround down to the “restorative” approach she has employed at the school.

“We had to make it a listening school where we listen to the children, that was the key thing that transformed behaviour,” she said.

“We’ve raised the expectation with all the children and the school is completely transformed. If you read the last report compared to this one it’s like they’re talking about two different schools.

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“The children have been fantastic. It’s amazing the way they talk about the school, the way they behave, the way they conduct themselves.

“It’s much more of a family than it was before.”

“I would like to thank every member of the Copenhagen school community – staff, parents/carers, IEB, Local Authority and the children themselves – for all of your hard work you’ve put in to transform our school into a positive, exciting and thriving place to learn.”

The school scored good in all areas accept achievement of pupils which was deemed to require improvement, but Cllr Paul Convery, a former governor whose two children attend the school said that end of year exams would change that.

“It’s been a fantastic recovery and a fantastic job by Harsha and all the staff team as well as a big effort by all the pupils.

“When the school failed it was a shock but not a surprise. Now it’s the same building, same kids, but a completely different school.

“The vast majority of the parents stuck together, some put their kids into other schools but 95 per cent didn’t.

“I’ve no doubt that in two years the school will be outstanding.”