When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Head complains as school again fails to impress Ofsted
A SCHOOL judged inadequate less than 18 months ago has again failed to impress inspectors, with concerns over “racist” pupil behaviour.
In March 2012 Orchard Fields Primary School, in Edmunds Road, Banbury, was issued by Ofsted with a notice to improve.
When inspectors went back in July it was told it was inadequate and given the new judgement of “serious weaknesses”. The school said it had complained.
Behaviour and safety were particularly criticised, with the school failing to follow statutory guidance in relation to exclusions.
Inspectors noted too many fixed-term exclusions and incidents of racist behaviour. She added the racist incidents were by a "minority of pupils", including amongst the youngest children.
And the governing body was criticised for failing to act on the recommendations of a strategic review of governance earlier this year.
Inspector Ann Debono said: “Remaining vacancies on the governing body limit its capacity to challenge and monitor the school’s work.
“The quality of teaching, although improving, is not yet consistently good across the school. Achievement is better than at the last inspection, but still requires improvement in order to be judged good. Pupils in some year groups are making good progress, but this is not always the case.”
Head Dawn Shilston and her team were praised for correctly identifying the school’s strengths and weaknesses.
Systems had been introduced to monitor teaching and eradicate poor practice, Ofsted said.
The school has about 415 pupils, and serves a deprived area, with a significantly higher than national average number of pupils getting free school meals, a key measure of poverty.
Orchard Fields was told to improve teaching so it was always good or better, improve behaviour and safety and leadership and management, and ensure the recommendations in the governance review were acted upon.
But Ms Shilston said: “I am very unhappy. It was a very unfair judgement. We have lodged a formal complaint through the Ofsted complaints procedure.”
Oxfordshire County Council children, education and families cabinet member Melinda Tilley said she was “saddened” by the news.
She said: “It is very disappointing and we will continue to work with the school to try to improve the results.”
- This story was amended on October 16 to include the additional information that it was a minority of pupils responsible for the racist incidents.
Comments are closed on this article.