New Easebourne head takes up Ofsted improvement challenge

New Headteacher of Easebourne CofE Primary School. Johnny Culley. Easebourne Priory. Midhurst. Picture :Liz Pearce.  LP021014EP07 SUS-140210-134015008
New Headteacher of Easebourne CofE Primary School. Johnny Culley. Easebourne Priory. Midhurst. Picture :Liz Pearce. LP021014EP07 SUS-140210-134015008

DESPITE being judged as ‘requiring improvement’, Easebourne C of E Primary School’s new head teacher remains optimistic he can turn the school around.

At its last Ofsted inspection in July, inspectors said pupils did ‘not always make good progress between Year 1 and Year 6.’

Johnny Culley has moved from Harting C of E Primary School where he was the head teacher for eight years.

“Ofsted have highlighted some key areas of improvement for the school and we now need to settle down to the challenge,” he said.

“A major initiative will be the school’s focus on reading which will include a refurbishment of the library and an increased stock of books.

“The school has a very dedicated staff team and a supportive governing body and I am confident that Easebourne School will thrive in its new home.”

The report added ‘too few pupils make good progress, especially in reading and mathematics.’

However, inspectors praised staff morale, improving writing standards, and pupils’ enjoyment at school.

Mr Culley succeeds Arthur Bain who led the school for 17 years.

Most recently, Mr Bain led the school through the successful transition from the old site on Easebourne Street to the school’s new home in Wheelbarrow Castle.

The school was inspected at the end of the summer term, a year after its move, and the inspection report was published earlier this month, shortly after the new head teacher arrived.

Ofsted found that standards in writing were improving rapidly.

It also noted pupils enjoyed going to school and were offered good opportunities to participate in sporting, musical and artistic events.

Overall, however, the school was judged to require improvement.

Mr Culley added: “The old Midhurst Intermediate site offers the children fantastic grounds and a building with great potential.”