School’s performance has been transformed

Sir – Three short years ago, the Witney Gazette had little hesitation in making Tower Hill Primary School's performance headline news (“Witney primary ranked 4th worst school in country”), with the sensationalist approach to a complex and sensitive issue being particularly disappointing.

So now, with performance so dramatically improved, and our headteacher, Tracey Smith, described as inspirational by Ofsted, and a 2013 winner in Witney Town Council's Citizen of the Year awards, could we hope for similarly positive local coverage, celebrating both progress and high achievement?

Unfortunately not, quite the opposite in fact, as the Witney Gazette has, despite our requests, ignored a genuine ‘good news’ story.

Tower Hill’s excellent performance and very positive comparison to all other Witney schools was masked by the complete West Oxfordshire table (Gazette, December 18 ).

I’m not sure whether your readers found reaction to performance at Little Milton and Watlington, both over 20 miles away, useful or not, but here are some of our highlights.

The tables show that Tower Hill achieved an impressive 94 per cent of students gaining a Key Stage 2 score of level 4 or above. This places the school in the top 10 per cent both in Oxfordshire and nationally.

Additionally, 100 per cent of pupils made expected two levels of progress in Key Stage 2, again the school is in the top 10 per cent both in Oxfordshire and nationally.

This is not to claim that there are areas that do not still need improving – of course there are.

However, if any other school in the country, never mind the county, can match our improvement in Key Stage 2 results over the past three years, well done to them!

Not only do our staff, parents, governors and most importantly pupils deserve praise and recognition, but the wider Witney community deserves to be better informed too.

Liam Walsh, Chair of Governors, Tower Hill Community Primary School, Burford Road, Witney

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