Eastbury Primary will be best in London, says headteacher

Eastbury Primary School. Barking.

Eastbury Primary School. Barking. - Credit: Archant

The headteacher of Eastbury Primary School has vowed to make the school the best in London.

Leigh Hovey downplayed the school’s Ofsted inspection earlier this year - which rated it as requiring improvement - saying it was the best that could be expected considering recent upheaval within the Barking school.

The school was mired in controversy last year following allegations of cheating and mismanagement, leading education secretary Michael Gove to appoint an interim executive board in June.

Mr Hovey, who took up his role in September last year, says he is particularly pleased that leadership and management and behaviour and safety within the school were both rated as “good”.

“When you look in the report there is an awful lot there that we should be incredibly proud of, especially in the short space we have had,” he said. “The school has absolutely turned on its head and that is very strongly acknowledged in the Ofsted report. We have come a long way and it will be the best school in the borough and, in a few years time, it will be the best school in London because we have high aspirations for the school.”

In the report, Mr Hovey is praised for making a “significant and rapid difference” to the school, as well as boosting staff morale and regaining the trust of parents, while lessons are said to recognise and value cultural diversity.

He says steps are in place to improve areas addressed in the report, including giving more able students work that challenges and stretches them and increasing the progress made by children in nursery and reception.

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“The overall feeling is one of real positivity,” Mr Hovery said. “We have a very clear focus on the areas of development and we are aiming for nothing less than outstanding and we have got everything in place to do that.”

Ofsted inspectors will revisit Eastbury Primary within the next two years.