Why revamping Ofsted inspections could help schools make the grade

The National Association of Headteachers criticised the new system proposed by Ofsted
Credit
Ian West  PA

The National Association of Headteachers criticised the new system proposed by Ofsted Credit Ian West PA

Captain Webb Primary School, in Dawley, was given an overall rating of "requires improvement" following a recent Ofsted inspection.

Inspectors said in the past leaders had not provided teachers with precise feedback to "help secure effective teaching".

The same approach will be applied to schools that inspectors believe could improve to "outstanding", but "requests for early inspections will be considered" for those institutions.

Lead inspector Janet Lunn said the curriculum lacked "breadth and depth" and the quality of teaching was too variable.

Mrs Lunn said: "In some classes teaching does not meet the needs of pupils and the work of teaching assistants does not help pupils to make the progress they should during lessons".

The inspector found the children "extremely motivated to learn" and noted that they show a keen interest and enthusiasm in the activities provided, and display high levels of concentration.

The report said the majority of parents were supportive of the school's work and pupils felt safe and happy.

On a positive note, the report did point out that children's achievement in early years has improved recently and phonics scores are now in line with the national average.

Breakfast provision for disadvantaged children was praised along with the strong relationships the school has with parents.

Parents spoke positively about how they are encouraged to talk to staff and feel they are listened to.

Headteacher Paul Whaling said: "While we are disappointed with the outcome, we accept the inspectors' findings and, with the support of the local authority, have developed an action plan to address the issues that have been identified".

The schools watchdog is consulting on plans to give some schools subject to "short inspections" more than two years to prepare for a follow-up visit, and has abandoned plans for a maximum gap of 15 days.

"The leadership team is committed to working together effectively to drive improvements with the full support of the staff and governors".

"Hard work" has been the key to success for a primary school which has just received a "good rating" in its Ofsted inspection according to its headteacher. "We are very pleased that the report has recognised the school's strengths and we welcome the fact that it highlights areas that can be improved".

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