Rushden school put into special measures by Ofsted

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A Rushden primary school has been put into special measures after receiving an ‘inadequate’ rating by Ofsted.

Risdene Academy, based in Newton Road and run by the Education Fellowship Trust, has dropped to the lowest grade possible after the inspection in January.

A report published this week heavily criticised the school’s leadership, quality of teaching and learning outcomes.

The report said: “Teachers’ practice has not been monitored consistently since the last inspection.

“Consequently, poor teaching persisted for too long, which has led to poor outcomes for many pupils.

“Teachers’ skills, therefore, had not kept up with the demands of the new curriculum.

“The new leadership of teaching, in place since September, is addressing this weakness.

“Teaching is now checked more frequently. There are promising signs that the quality of teaching, for some, is improving.”

The school currently provides for 310 pupils and in its last inspection in 2015, was graded as ‘requires improvement’.

The report added that even the most able pupils are not reaching the highest standards.

It said: “Boys’ achievement continues to lag behind girls’, especially in English.

“Almost no pupils reached the highest standards in reading, writing and mathematics in the 2016 Key Stage 2 tests.

“The most able pupils, including the most able disadvantaged pupils, did not reach the high standards of which they were capable.

“Current assessments suggest that pupils from these groups continue to underachieve.”

However, the new principal, Kerry Mills, was praised for bringing about a much-needed clarity for staff.

The overall proportion of pupils achieving a good level of development in early years is above average across all areas of learning and the rigorous implementation of a new policy is helping to improve pupils’ behaviour.

The Education Fellowship Trust has been contacted for a comment.