EDUCATION watchdog Ofsted has praised a headteacher and a school trust for turning a school around.

Monkwick Junior School in Colchester became part of the Sigma Trust in September 2016.

It was previously said to “require improvement” - the third grade out of four - and while the overall rating has not changed, Ofsted inspectors have praised the progress made.

New headteacher Rebecca McCutcheon started at the school in September last year along with a new deputy headteacher and two assistant head teachers.

Ofsted visited the school at the end of last term and is due to publish their findings this week.

However, the Gazette has seen a copy of the report.

In it, the inspectors say the school still requires improvement in most areas, however, it has received good ratings - the second best score - in the personal development, behaviour and welfare category.

The report was critical of pupils’ progress. It said: “There is too much inconsistency in the quality of teaching across the school. Too few pupils make the progress they should.

“The school offers a broad curriculum but it is not well balanced. Progress pupils make in subjects such as history, geography and science is limited.”

However, inspectors praised the new headteacher for her efforts.

The report added: “The new headteacher has worked hard to restore the confidence of parents and carers.

“Everyone is united and keen to improve the school further. Leadership of special educational needs is very effective. Pupils say they are happy and safe and enjoy coming to school.”

Since the school joined the Sigma Trust there has been a complete change in the leadership.

The report said although much has been done to improve the school in the past year, there has not been enough time for leaders to see the impact of their actions.

Ms McCutcheon said: “Since September last year, a new leadership team has been in place and with support from the Sigma Trust, the school is delighted the report has identified the progress made.

“Ofsted reported the considerable challenges the new school has faced since September 2016 have been tackled effectively by the trust.

“The school is particularly proud to have been graded good for behaviour, which is just reward for all of the hard work of staff, parents and pupils.”

A further statement added: “The school acknowledges there is need to improve further and accepts the findings in the report. It thanks all parents for their contribution to the improvements made.”