THE woman leading a school aiming to turn its fortunes around has high hopes for the future.

Hensingham Community Primary School was rated ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted in February and has now moved under the control of Cumbria’s largest Multi Academy Trust.

And its new leader is a former pupil of the school.

Faye Eldon, interim headteacher, was previously acting head at St Joseph’s in Frizington and was at nearby St Patrick’s for 12 years, latterly as assistant headteacher.

She said: “Even though the children have been through a bit of a turbulent time with the report they are resilient and happy and cared for in this school. We make sure they know what the expectations are for them. They want to learn, they love doing the lessons, the choir and the garden.

“I work in some of the classes to get to know the children and ask them their opinions of the school and what they would like to change and what they want to show me. I have them knocking on the door every day bringing me work. They’re proud of what they’re achieving.”

The school becomes the sixth primary and ninth school in all to become part of Cumbria Education Trust (CET).

The 166-pupil school was rated Inadequate across all five inspection areas by Ofsted. The trust wants to use its experience of similar situations to improve standards.

That strategy has seen both Yewdale in Carlisle and Longtown move from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good’ in their most recent Ofsted inspections.

Chris Wilkins, director of primary education for CET, said that sharing of resources to help the school achieve its aim more quickly was already underway. There was also a fresh emphasis on professional development for staff to help them assist pupils in living up to the trust’s motto of ‘be the best you can be’.

He said: “This is a lovely school, with some very dedicated teachers. The children are polite and want to learn and there’s a very supportive community behind them.

“These are all important elements in giving children the start in education they deserve and to get the school back to the levels it used to deliver for this community.”

Mrs Eldon, who was also formerly a primary maths mastery specialist working with a number of schools in the area, attended the Hensingham’s infants and junior schools more than 30 years ago.

She said: “I loved my time here and I want the children who are here now to have the same feelings towards this school as I have from 30-odd years ago.”

“These days are important and they do shape your life. The education I got here stood me in good stead as I went on to secondary school and university.

“I want to make sure these children get exactly the same opportunities that I’ve had. As a whole staff, we are committed to providing an enriching education for all the children at Hensingham Primary School.”