This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
|Head Sally Hughes with, from left, Diya Mistry, Myleen Mander, Neha Kancherla, Malwina Fudala & Abhay Keshwala|
Leicester "free school" praised
by Fiona Dryden, Education Correspondent
The first of the Government's "free" schools to open in the city has been given a good Ofsted report.
The visit was the first by inspectors from the education watchdog to Krishna Avanti Primary, in Evington, which opened two years ago.
Inspectors said pupils made good progress from their starting points, teaching was good and Krishna Avanti had a warm and caring environment which made good provision to support pupils' strong spiritual development.
Interim head teacher Sally Hughes, who took over from outgoing principal Christopher Spall when he left just before Easter, said: "It's fantastic news. The inspection was rigorous, but the outcome was just as we expected, showing that we know exactly what level we're operating at and what we need to do to become outstanding. It's well within reach."
Free schools can be started by charities, parents or teachers. They are outside local authority control, but are paid for by the state.
The report said pupils' behaviour was outstanding and they were "highly motivated learners who were kind, considerate, and caring" towards one another.
They said that staff used innovative IT to bring learning to life and this supported children well.
In addition, they praised the quality of teaching in the Early Years Foundation stage for being "outstanding".
They said that classrooms and their displays were vibrant and learning was "well-organised".
Mrs Hughes was also praised for settling in so quickly and rapidly winning the confidence of parents and staff.
They said she had an "accurate overview" of the school's performance.
She said: "The report is a true reflection of what we're doing here and highlights many of our strengths.
"I think the school's ethos of tolerance and respect shone through during the inspection. It's evident in our pupils' eagerness to learn and enthusiasm to be here.
"We have some outstanding teachers and have employed two more, along with four extra teaching assistants who start in September to accommodate our growing numbers."
The school will have 165 pupils in the new academic year and will be at planned capacity.
Mrs Hughes said: "We're a school that embraces all cultures and that was highlighted in the report through our pupils' spiritual, moral, and cultural development."
Pradip Gajjar, chair of governors, said: "We've done exceptionally well in our first report and we know what we need to do to be even better. The school is oversubscribed for September and that speaks volumes for the confidence of parents in what we're doing.
"We feel very proud of what's already been achieved."
To improve even further, inspectors said that teachers should be more confident to adapt activities.