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News in brief

News in brief

A PRIMARY school has been ticked off for poor attendance and bad time keeping following a visit by inspectors from education watchdog Ofsted. But headteacher at Huncoat Primary School David Price has pledged to take on board the recommendations from inspectors who felt the school has improved since their last visit five years ago. The inspectors drew attention to the rate of attendance and said the figures were very low in comparison with other schools. The rate of unauthorised absence was above that found nationally and not all pupils are punctual, the report stated. On the plus side the school has improved its quality of its teaching, the roles of senior managers and raised the standards in information and communication technology. It is also making good progress with its provision for pupils with special education needs. Inspectors were pleased with the quality of teaching especially in English and maths for pupils in Year 1 and 2. Teaching was also good across the whole of the curriculum, including art, religious studies and music. The report states: "The school cares for its pupils well. It provides an environment in which pupils of all attainments can learn." It said staff always gave a listening ear to any parents or carers who had any problems or questions and that the school governors are forward-thinking and look at ways to develop the school. Other areas where the inspectors felt there was room for improvement were the standard of English, maths and science by the end of Year 2 and 6, teachers expectations of what pupils can do, the use of assessment and recording so work can be matched to pupils attainment and the role of managers to improve self-evaluation, monitoring and the consistency and procedures across the school. Mr Price said: "We realise that we still have work to do. But we have been given a great boost by this report and by acting on the Inspection Team's recommendations, everyone connected with the school will work to ensure that we provide a good education for our children in future." Linda Alldritt, a parent governor at the school, said: "Credit needs to be given to the headteacher, teaching and support staff for their hard work since the last inspection."

STAFF at Baxenden Primary School are baffled after a picture of a chair which was presented to a former headteacher 76 years ago arrived in the post. A woman from York wrote to the school after she bought the chair from an antiques centre near Lincoln. Current headteacher John Howard is now intrigued to find out more about the chair and would like to trace the family of Edgar J Barrett to find out more and put them in touch with the woman to see if they would like to make her an offer for the chair. The corner chair has an inscription on the back which reads: Presented to Mr E J Barrett from the staff and scholars of Baxenden Day School - August 1926. Mr Howard said: "We would like to find out if any family members still live in the area or if anyone out there knows where they might have gone. The chair is in remarkable condition and it would be great if we could trace his family." Not a lot is known about the former head although an entry in the old school records shows he became head on 1 April 1919 and finished in 1926. He then went on to become head at Spring Hill Primary School. Anyone with information can call the school on 234074.

HIKING boots will be the order of the day when Baxenden Forum officially launches the Jubilee Walk on Sunday 6 April. Walkers will meet up at Haworth Park at 1pm and then set off to discover the stunning countryside surrounding Baxenden. To help them on their journey, Baxenden Forum have produced a handy leaflet featuring a map, photos and pictures which were drawn by school children at St John's Primary School. Pupils from The Hollins Technology College also made way markers to ensure nobody gets lost. The walk is being sponsored by various groups and bodies including the Lancashire Environment Action Fund, Cheshire Bank, Baxenden Cricket Club and Caligen Foam. For further details about the walk contact Baxenden Forum chairman Bill Matthews on 384000.

PUPILS at Baxenden Primary School are dispelling rumours that they all have webbed feet. For the group amassed an amazing 25 medals after coming out tops in the Hyndburn and District Swimming Gala held at Hyndburn Sports Centre. The girls' team came second overall, while the boys finished first, making them the overall champions. In the squad were: Girls - Katie Webster, Jennifer Dentith, Joanna Lees, Abby Dawber, Kira Howsby and Emily Charnley. Boys - David Ainsworth, Ashley Brierley, David Starkie, Oliver Duffy, Bradley Coster and Matthew Parkinson.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist