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School’s 100th pupil marks turnaround

Alburgh, Norfolk. Alburgh with Denton Primary School with their 100th pupil Jamie Knight with headteacher Joel Crawley

Alburgh, Norfolk. Alburgh with Denton Primary School with their 100th pupil Jamie Knight with headteacher Joel Crawley

The 100th pupil joining a school which just three years ago had a poor reputation and was only just over half full, marks a rapid turnaround in its fortunes.

Parents were increasingly turning away from Alburgh with Denton Primary School as a serious place to educate their children and there were doubts about its very future.

Headteacher Joel Crawley took over just under four years ago, and at that time, 63 pupils were on the books of the 105-capacity school.

The school is already oversubscribed for September 2014 and will face having to turn applicants away.

Mr Crawley said: “I was the fifth head the school had had in five years. It had gone through a bad time, really. Parents were leaving. There was some doubt about its future.”

He said that staff had worked “extremely hard” to turn the school around and had “gone back to basics” in how to run the school.

“We have relentless focus on academic achievement. Some say in a small school you can’t do this or that, but we look to do lots of things, like having residentials or trips to London.”

Although the school will be at full capacity in September, there are currently no plans to expand.

Sixty per cent of pupils now attend the school from outside its catchment area, such is its popularity.

Mr Crawley said that consistency of leadership was vital in improving a school and that they haven’t had to replace a teacher for four years.

In its last Ofsted inspection, in May 2011, the school was graded ‘Good’.

 

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