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Benthal Primary School in Hackney

(4 Posts)
pearsandbananas Wed 19-Nov-14 13:24:07

We're approaching the primary school application stage for my daughter who will start reception in Sep 2015.

Does anyone have any feedback about Benthal primary school please? I know it's gone through quite a few changes (and a new headteacher) recently.

Thank you.

pearsandbananas Thu 20-Nov-14 19:06:29

Just shamelessly bumping this in case anybody can help. Thanks!

grapesandprunes Sat 22-Nov-14 09:10:50

Benthal went through an unpleasant period with very large numbers of teachers leaving and a bewildering turn around of head teachers and deputy heads. There was a high level of discontent among parents, and division among parents, staff and governors (although the children were still happy). The Learning Trust moved in for a while, and it felt as if the school was being policed.

Things are now changing for the better. The school isn't the warm place it used to be, but there are now loads of after school clubs (dance, drumming, drama) and the new (and newly qualified) teachers who were employed in the wake of the old teachers' exit are beginning to settle in, build their confidence and gain momentum. These teachers are, in the main, good/very good and the kids are happy. There are also a couple of excellent teachers, along with a few average ones.

The head is very experienced and fairly old school, in the traditional sense. She is organised and not a people person. She is not going to turn Benthal into a new William Patten. The school is far more focused on league tables/SATs than it ever was, and less chaotic and friendly and creative as a result. However, the Junior school was always poor, particularly for the more able children, with erratic teaching (some fantastic, and some abysmal) and low goals. The more able children are now being catered for, with extension classes in maths, for example. SEN provision is still poor. The school also has a very strong and supportive PTA. The general feeling is that the school is stable, rebuilding and on the up.

pearsandbananas Sun 23-Nov-14 17:10:43

Thank you grapesandprunes for the informative post!

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