Staff at Gorefield Primary School need to take urgent action to ensure pupil safety after government inspectors branded the school as ‘inadequate’ and requiring ‘improvement’ in all areas including teaching.
Ofsted inspectors visited the school in May and their findings were published this week with lead inspector Tracy Fielding saying the “Leaders have an overly generous view of the quality of provision in the school, most notably about the quality and impact of teaching, learning and assessment.”
The report says safeguarding at the school is “ineffective” and adds leadership is inadequate solely because leaders and governors have not created a
culture of vigilance around child protection. Staff are not well informed about the importance of the latest statutory requirements and their responsibilities for keeping pupils safe.
”Leaders’ records of monitoring for safeguarding are of poor quality. There is insufficient evidence that leaders take appropriate action
to protect vulnerable pupils.”
Ms Fielding acknowledged the school had been through a “turbulent time” with “significant upheaval in leadership and staffing” in the last three years.
“This,” she said, “has led to instability and a lack of consistency in the actions taken to raise standards.”
A recent review of safeguarding by the local authority identified to the school the areas of safeguarding that the inspection team subsequently deemed to be
ineffective. However, the extent of these inadequacies was not understood by leaders, said the report. Consequently, leaders did not act rigorously enough to ensure that all the weaknesses were tackled.
Other areas of concern include the failure of leaders to evaluate well enough the impact or effectiveness of the additional funding they receive for disadvantaged pupils or those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.
The report said funding is used “broadly appropriately” for example on extra adult support, but it is not well enough evaluated to allow leaders to say how much it helps towards improving both the academic and welfare needs of disadvantaged pupils.
Sports funding is however used well and inspectors also acknowledged other strengths at the school including children in key stage one and two being at or above the national average, and pupil attendance, which is above average. Also the partnership with parents was recognised a “real strength”.
However, the school, which was rated ‘good’ at its last inspection in 2013, needs to improve in all areas including teaching pupils’ behaviour, pupil outcomes and early years provision.