A Northamptonshire junior school has been placed in special measures after Ofsted criticised senior leaders for having an “overgenerous” view of the work of the school.
Earls Barton Junior School, which had been rated ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted, has now fallen down to the ‘inadequate’ category after inspectors found “issues had not been addressed to secure a good quality of education for pupils.”
A report of the July visit states senior leaders’ plans for improvement “lack detail” and do not address all aspects of school life.
The Ofsted inspectors also found pupil safeguarding was not effective because senior leaders have not always made referrals in a timely manner.
Teachers were also criticised for not consistently adhering to the school’s marking and feedback policy and not routinely intervening quickly enough when pupils are ready to move on with their learning.
The report states: “Several parents used Ofsted’s online survey, Parent View, to express dissatisfaction about communication and the quality of leadership.
“Only just over half of the parents felt that the school was well led and managed and just over one quarter would not recommend the school to other parents. “However, a large majority of parents said that their children are happy at the school.”
A letter posted on the school’s website from executive headteacher Noel Springett-McHugh and Kelly O’Connor, associate headteacher, stated pupil’s happiness and enjoyment in school was “paramount.”
When Ofsted visited in July the school had a different headteacher.
The letter states: “We aim to achieve this by having an open door policy and through our communication with parents.
“We are also striving to ensure that our curriculum is exciting and engaging and that wherever possible links to learning are made so that the learning is purposeful.
“We also aim to continue to build on the success of previous enrichment activities such as family days and funding raising events. Values will also continue to be at the heart of what we do and we aim to achieve a balance between retaining the traditions of a village school which is at the heart of the community and at the same time modernising the practise so that it is in line with National Standards.
The school held a question and answer session with parents last week and has listed all the improvements it is planing to make by December on its website.