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Leadership blamed as Ramnoth Junior School in Wisbech is labelled 'inadequate' and put into special measures by Ofsted

A Wisbech school has been labelled 'inadequate' and has been put into 'special measures' following an inspection by Ofsted.

Ramnoth Junior School has been rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted inspectors. (10805683)
Ramnoth Junior School has been rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted inspectors. (10805683)

Ramnoth Junior School has slipped from being a 'good' school when inspectors last visited in 2015 to 'inadequate' across all areas during the most recent inspection in March this year.

The report published this week concluded: "Chief Inspector Tracy Fielding is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school."

The report highlights the failure of the school's leaders, governors and trust to take effective action to "stem a decline in standards".

Inspectors said the local governing body has recently been disbanded owing to "significant weaknesses in governance". They also said leadership in several areas across the school is "poor".

Adding "Most leaders are unclear about the extent and impact of their role. Leaders have an overgenerous view of the quality of education provided."

The report also states the school's curriculum is "too narrow" which means pupils do not access a breadth and depth of knowledge and skills in different subjects.

It continues: "Teachers’ weak use of assessment undermines the quality of teaching and learning. Teachers do not have an accurate picture of where there are gaps in pupils’ learning, and pupils are not well supported to catch up.

"Too few pupils work at or above the standard expected for their age group in reading, writing and mathematics. Pupils’ mathematical progress is weak. They do not regularly have opportunities to develop their reasoning and problem-solving knowledge and skills."

Inspectors also highlighted the fact leaders do not ensure that additional funds for disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are used effectively. The academic outcomes for these groups of pupils are weak.

And they found a significant number of staff feel their contribution to school improvement is not heard. Consequently, morale among staff is low.

Teaching does not consistently inspire and engage pupils. There is low-level disruption when teachers do not plan learning that interests pupils or is well suited to pupils’ needs.

The report lists actions needed for the school to improve including "to rapidly improve the effectiveness of leadership and management, by: ensuring that the trust secures effective governance; clarifying all leadership roles and increasing leadership capacity to bring about sustained improvement in the quality of leadership, teaching, learning and assessment and subsequently, pupils’ progress."

It also needs to offer staff training, review the curriculum so that it enables pupils to develop greater knowledge and to deepen their understanding across a wide range of subjects and make sure all teachers use assessment accurately and effectively to plan learning in reading, writing and mathematics that meets the needs of pupils.

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