'Worst' school praised

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The Independent Online
The first mainstream school to have been failed under the Government's new inspection system has been given a clean bill of health, it was disclosed last night, writes Fran Abrams.

Crook Primary School in Co Durham was labelled "the worst school in Britain" after it was declared to be at risk of failing its pupils in December 1993. Inspectors said six out of 10 lessons were unsatisfactory and pupils' behaviour was poor. Standards were below national norms and leadership was weak.

But a new report published today, following a visit by inspectors earlier this month, says pupils are now applying themselves to their work. Leadership is strong and standards are satisfactory in more than three-quarters of lessons.

"Pupils have developed good self-control to complement their courtesy, respect for one another and for adults. They take pride in their achievement," it adds.

Since the original report, the headteacher and three other staff have left through early retirement or because of ill health, and the school now has a temporary head and deputy.

The chairman of governors, Bob Pendlebury, said that the school was now looking to the future. "That this has been achieved in a very threatening atmosphere . . . is all the more remarkable," he said.

Education, section two, page 15