THEY have turned it round.

Sinclair Primary and Nursery School in Southampton has been rated outstanding by inspectors just four years after being put into special measures.

Ofsted awarded staff and pupils top marks, placing the Lordshill school in the top six per cent of schools in the country for progress.

Since Gerida Montague took over as executive head teacher in 2009 the school has been transformed, achieving “outstanding” in all four categories of its latest report, which judges the achievement, behaviour and safety of pupils, quality of teaching, leadership and management.

Mrs Montague, who is also head of Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Millbrook and Bitterne Park Junior School, modestly shared the credit for the turnaround.

She said: “It’s a community effort really.

“You don’t get those kinds of results with just one person.

“We work with the parents, teachers and children to do what’s best for our children.

“If you keep children at the heart of everything you get the results. The children are really happy and they’ve got a really strong curriculum.”

Chairman of governors David Tomkins also hailed the report’s findings.

He said: “It’s lovely and it’s well deserved. The children are responding and the parents are more engaged with the children.

“Gerida is a very good motivator.

She understands her staff and knows how to get the very best out of them.

“I can only compliment all the staff, they have all worked incredibly hard and from here we can only keep going.”

The report said: “Underpinning the success of the school is the inspired leadership of the head teacher and the excellent focus of senior leaders and governors on developing and ensuring high quality teaching.

“This is linked exceptionally well to performance management and continuous professional development for teachers, much of which is in-house coaching.”

Inspectors noted the progress made by the children, who start at the nursery with skills and knowledge below the expected levels, but by the time they leave the reception class, they are only just below nationally expected levels, indicating outstanding progress.

They wrote: “Given these well below starting points, pupils make outstanding progress across the school.

Current school data strongly and accurately suggest that attainment is set to rise further in 2013 and beyond to an above average level.”

In 2009 the school was failing to give pupils an acceptable standard of education, inspectors ruled. At the time the Daily Echo had reported that inspectors had seen the school deteriorate between 2006 and 2009.

Inspectors wrote: “This school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading and managing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement.”

A further inspection in 2010, just four school terms later, showed Sinclair Primary and Nursery School had already improved to become “good”.