Primary school told it must improve rapidly

Headteacher Margaret Kelly

Headteacher Margaret Kelly

First published in Education

A SMALL village primary school has been heavily criticised by the education watchdog.

St Nicholas CofE School in East Challow, near Wantage, was rated ‘inadequate’ across the board by inspectors from Ofsted after a two-day visit in April.

It has now been put in special measures after inspectors found both the teaching quality and pupils’ achievement poor.

The report, published on Friday, also said pupils did not always feel safe at school and lessons were often disrupted.

The school recently had teachers from King Alfred’s Academy in Wantage come in and help out.

Lead inspector Mike Capper said in his report: “Leaders at all levels have not brought about sufficient improvement in the school’s performance.”

He said despite extensive help from the local authority and King Alfred’s, the school’s efforts to improve teaching had had a limited effect.

In a statement, headteacher Margaret Kelly and chairman of governors Yvette Ford said the report was “very disappointing” but it should not take long to make significant improvements.

They said: “The school is committed to respond to this Ofsted report with focus and determination, to ensure that all pupils achieve their potential and make the progress they should.”

Simon Spiers, head of King Alfred’s Academy, speaking for the Wantage Area Schools Partnership, said: “I think everyone connected with the school is obviously very disappointed with the outcome.

“King Alfred’s has been supporting the school over the recent months and will continue to offer support at every level to help bring about improvements for the children over the coming years.”

Ofsted grades schools either outstanding, good, satisfactory or inadequate. An inspection of the Sarajac Avenue school in December 2008 rated it as satisfactory, as did a report in 2005.

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Melinda Tilley, cabinet member for schools at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “The council is already working with the school on the issues raised in this Ofsted report recognising the need for swift improvements.”

There are 84 pupils at the school.

In 2009, the school benefited from £500,000 of county council cash in a renovation project with work creating bigger classrooms and a special needs facility.

Millbrook Primary School in Grove was also rated ‘inadequate’ in a recent inspection and issued with a notice to improve.

Comments (7)

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7:34pm Mon 18 Jun 12

Feelingsmatter says...

Exactly what I was thinking; well said.
Exactly what I was thinking; well said. Feelingsmatter
  • Score: 1

10:55am Tue 19 Jun 12

Garage Man says...

Two of my children went to this school and the 'Management Team' have been kidding themselves about the school performance for years! We ended up pulling our children out of the school at the same time as a Governer was doing the same thing - speaks volumes I think!
Two of my children went to this school and the 'Management Team' have been kidding themselves about the school performance for years! We ended up pulling our children out of the school at the same time as a Governer was doing the same thing - speaks volumes I think! Garage Man
  • Score: 2

5:38pm Wed 20 Jun 12

Garage Man says...

Either the two previous posters individually decided to delete them or there is some moderation happening by the newspaper!
Either the two previous posters individually decided to delete them or there is some moderation happening by the newspaper! Garage Man
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Wed 20 Jun 12

catlover5 says...

Hopefully this will now be an opportunity to get some fresh blood into the school. It's hard to believe this school has never managed to progress beyond satisfactory. Makes you wonder what is holding it back?
Hopefully this will now be an opportunity to get some fresh blood into the school. It's hard to believe this school has never managed to progress beyond satisfactory. Makes you wonder what is holding it back? catlover5
  • Score: 1

6:56pm Wed 20 Jun 12

tortoise23 says...

Thank goodness or the Foundation stage at this school. Ofsted quite rightly singles them out for praise.
Would like to know what changes the school is going to make to progress at all. They will have to be huge.
Thank goodness or the Foundation stage at this school. Ofsted quite rightly singles them out for praise. Would like to know what changes the school is going to make to progress at all. They will have to be huge. tortoise23
  • Score: 1

9:55am Thu 21 Jun 12

bingbong21 says...

Garage Man wrote:
Either the two previous posters individually decided to delete them or there is some moderation happening by the newspaper!
My post has also disapeared, what has happened to freedom of speach? Just like the bullying at st nics, all negativity is brushed under the carpet.
[quote][p][bold]Garage Man[/bold] wrote: Either the two previous posters individually decided to delete them or there is some moderation happening by the newspaper![/p][/quote]My post has also disapeared, what has happened to freedom of speach? Just like the bullying at st nics, all negativity is brushed under the carpet. bingbong21
  • Score: 0

12:46pm Wed 27 Jun 12

Justme.. says...

I removed my child from this school a couple of years ago due to bullying, the head mistress and staff would deny that anything was going on and even resorted to threatening tactics. When my child went into his fantastic new school i was also shocked to realise how far behind he was compared to his new class mates. The best decision i have ever made is to take him out and after reading this i am not suprised they have recieved such a bad ofsted report.
I removed my child from this school a couple of years ago due to bullying, the head mistress and staff would deny that anything was going on and even resorted to threatening tactics. When my child went into his fantastic new school i was also shocked to realise how far behind he was compared to his new class mates. The best decision i have ever made is to take him out and after reading this i am not suprised they have recieved such a bad ofsted report. Justme..
  • Score: 0

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