THE Stratford Mop of 1914 appeared little changed from previous years. Wartime austerity had not yet set in and few people foresaw that the conflict would be lengthy. One of the great traditions of the fair was its roasts. No less than five oxen and seven pigs were rotating on the spits outside the pubs on the big day. The excursion trains brought their usual hundreds of revellers from Birmingham and other centres of population. None of Stratford’s conscripts had yet embarked overseas, although just five days before, a regular with the South Wales Borderers, Sgt RH Savage, had been the first Stratfordian to fall victim to the war. He had been struck by shrapnel at the Battle of the Aisne and died of his wounds in Bournbrook Military Hospital.
Four years ago Ellis Holtom, of Stratford-upon-Avon, was born with half a working heart. Later, the Herald featured his condition as a tribute to the work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was treated. Now, to mark Congenital Heart Defect Week his mum, Vicki, updates his story. . .
ALL 326 local planning authorities in England, councils like Stratford-on-Avon District, need a local plan. The core strategy is a component of that local plan. It contains all the local district wide policies that need to be considered when processing planning applications. New development needs to satisfy local needs, helping to realise the hopes and ambitions of its communities and protect them from situations they fear. New homes and places to work should provide then with a healthy lifestyle, a pleasant place to live, good recreational facilities and above all the infrastructure that enhances their quality of life. The buzzword to describe this is ‘sustainable’.
THE poor are paying more than they should be for their energy, according to damning new evidence from Stratford-upon-Avon’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Prepayment meters (PPMs) are costing users in fuel poverty a “disproportionate amount” for what little gas and electricity they can afford, the bureau has found. There are around 7.2 million people on prepayment meters in the UK and several thousand in the district of Stratford. Despite Stratford’s reputation as an affluent area, the bureau is being forced to come to the aid of more and more people living in fuel poverty on an increasingly regular basis.
STRATFORD School is now taking steps to upgrade its Ofsted rating following an inspection made last December which stated the school “requires improvement” in all areas.
The findings from that inspection were published in February and since then Ofsted has made, what it calls “a monitoring visit” to see if the school has acted to address the issues raised by inspectors following their visit on 12th December.
Ofsted advised then that the quality of teaching at the school “over time had not enabled enough students to reach their potential.
While it was good in some lessons or better than average in others there were still too many lessons that required improvement and a small percentage of teaching is inadequate.”
According to Ofsted the school sometimes had a “one size fits all” approach which meant some students became frustrated because the work was too difficult for them but those who found the school work easier were prone to moments of boredom.
“Marking of students’ work is inconsistent. Some teachers do not mark work sufficiently often to provide useful feedback to students,” the report pointed out.
“However, the school does works hard to promote reading and there are several event days to celebrate and encourage participation in reading like, World Book Day.”
In another key area of school life, Ofsted said the behaviour and safety of pupils requires improvement because students’ attitudes to learning were not consistently positive and that affected the progress they could potentially make.
“While the majority of students show respect for one another and for teachers, a minority are involved in low-level disruption which means learning is interrupted.
“Students report bullying when it occurs and it is dealt with well by staff, however a minority of staff and parents felt that bullying was not well managed by the school.”
Ofsted also stated in its report that leadership and management at the school required improvement.
And although there had been important changes in this regard these had not had a chance to make a sufficient impact at the time of the report’s writing.
However, the school had now created a development plan since the appointment of a new head teacher in September last year which had brought about a change in the school’s ethos and management direction.
Following a monitoring visit and an updated report this month Ofsted now says the school is taking the necessary steps needed to improve as recommended by its inspectors.
Commenting on the Ofsted report, headteacher Neil Wallace said yesterday (Wednesday): “I am delighted that Ofsted have recognised the rapid progress that the school is making.
“Students, staff and governors have all worked really hard and this is reflected in the significant improvements that Ofsted have reported this year.
“The school is eagerly anticipating record examination results this summer. Students are now making greater academic progress than ever before.
“This is a result of improvements in the quality of learning and teaching which Ofsted reported in their recent monitoring visit. A further endorsement of what we are doing is the significant reduction in the number of areas that the school needs to improve in, to only two.”
This article first appeared on the front page of the Herald on Thursday 29th May. For the latest news in South Warwickshire, pick up the paper each Thursday for 60p.