Head pledges recovery as school gets bottom marks

A SCHOOL in Carlinghow has slumped into special measures – four years on from being rated ‘good’ by Ofsted officials.

Headteacher at Carlinghow Princess Royal Junior, Infant and Nursery School, Andrew Wilcock, said he is disappointed by the education watchdog’s recent ‘inadequate’ judgement.

Ofsted visited the Ealand Road school in July, its first official inspection since the school’s ‘good’ review in 2014.

The damning report was published this week, and it didn’t make good reading for Mr Wilcock, who took up the headteacher’s role in September last year. 

He said the school is already taking steps to address the issues raised by Ofsted.

Inspectors found “leadership has been unsuccessful in preventing the decline in the school’s overall effectiveness”, while “senior and middle leaders have not tackled pupils’ poor progress across a range of subjects, including reading, writing and mathematics”.

The report said that pupils’ progress was “highly inconsistent” and “pupils do not listen well or persist with their work in lessons”.

Mr Wilcock said: “Although Ofsted have changed their inspection framework and ‘raised the bar’ since their last visit to our school, the leadership team and governors all acknowledge that the outcome of this inspection is very disappointing.

“At the same time, it is important to stress that we had already identified many of the issues raised by Ofsted and were already taking steps to address them.

“Action was under way before the inspection took place and the benefits of some of this work are becoming clear. 

“Unfortunately, Ofsted were not able to see the full impact of these changes during their visit.

“We have been making a wide range of improvements. These include giving the children clearer guidance on how to progress, helping pupils understand the ways that their behaviour affects other people and tracking the effectiveness of our policies.

“Whilst Ofsted did highlight examples of good teaching, another priority is to bring all teaching up to the same high standard right across the school, benefiting all pupils.

“The inspection will help to sharpen our focus even further on all areas of teaching and learning and we look forward to demonstrating the progress we have made.”

The school was rated inadequate in all but two of the major categories – personal development, behaviour and welfare and early years provision – both of which ‘required improvement’.

The school was placed in special measures and given guidance on what it needs to do to recover, including improving the quality of teaching.

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