Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Malmesbury Primary School on Special Measures

Malmesbury Primary School falls into the bottom 5% of primary schools in the country, according to a recent OFSTED inspection. It has been put on "Special Measures" because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education.
The OFSTED Inspection Report on Malmesbury Primary School report following the Inspection of the School on 5th-6th March 2012, was published last week on Friday 27th April .

This is a digest of what the report says.
Inspection Results
The Inspection took place with two days notice.  The Inspectors assess a School across five main categories - much as teachers assess the progress and competence of children.  The possible Inspection Ratings and what they mean (with colour coding introduced by MERA) are:
  • Grade 1 - Outstanding (average 8% of primary schools) These features are highly effective. An outstanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. 
  • Grade 2 - Good (average 40% of primary schools) These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.
  • Grade 3 - Satisfactory (average 47% of primary schools) These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.
  • Grade 4 - Inadequate (average 5% of primary schools) These features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.
The judgements for Malmesbury School from the latest Inspection are detailed below.
  • Overall effectiveness: Inadequate
  • Achievement of pupils: Inadequate 
  • Quality of teaching: Inadequate 
  • Behaviour and safety of pupils: Satisfactory 
  • Leadership and management: Inadequate 
That means Malmesbury School falls into the bottom 5% of primary schools in the country for four of the five standards when compared to the average results from all the Inspections of Primary Schools during the period 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011
HerMajesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement.
Key findings, in plain English, are as follows

  • This is not a satisfactory school
  • There are significant weaknesses in teaching
  • Senior staff and the governing body do not know how well individual pupils are doing
  • As a result, the achievement levels of children leaving the school in the last three years is low - children are under-achieving.
Children make satisfactory progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage, often from low starting points.
Key Stage 2
  • By the end of Key Stage 2, pupils generally cannot do what they should be doing. Skills in reading, writing and mathematics are all below average.
  • Pupils have not been taught to sound out individual letters and groups of letters when reading - which helps them to work out words they've not read before
  • Teachers have not provided pupils with chances to write at length
  • Pupils do not demonstrate a good understanding of basic number skills for their age group
  • In summary - the teaching of the basic curriculum and associated skills is inadequate
Too often, work is too easy for higher-attaining pupils and too hard for lower-attaining pupils
Most pupils and their parents and carers hold positive views about teaching. These are not supported by inspection evidence because teaching is not having enough impact on pupils’ achievement.
  • Overall, the standard of teaching is inadequate
  • Some teaching is good - pupils are stimulated to learn
  • BUT not enough teachers provide a good standard of teaching
  • As a result children are not making proper progress
  • Some teachers do not plan their lessons to suit children with different levels of ability
  • Some teachers do not correct misunderstandings and make sure that what they tell children helps them do better in the future
  • Some teaching assistants lack the experience and skills in language to be able to support children reading and writing
Sometimes, lower-attaining pupils in Key Stage 2 are taught incorrectly by teaching assistants.
Keeping an eye on what's happening in school
  • Governors and managers review teachers performance and pupils performance
  • Priorities for improvement are identified which are about right in broad terms
  • Individual pupils are not achieving what they should be capable of doing by the end of Year 6 
  • Too little attention is given to checking whether individual pupils will reach the standards set for the end of Year 6 - and taking action to make sure satisfactory progress is made
The school does not promote equal opportunities for different groups well enough because some groups are not achieving as well as their peers nationally.
Pupils’ behaviour and safety 
  • Pupils’ behaviour and safety in school is satisfactory. 
  • A few concerns were raised but parents, carers, pupils and staff are generally positive about behaviour
  • Some bullying and racist behaviour occurs - these are dealt with properly
  • Pupils’ behaviour helps to create a safe and orderly environment.
Since the new Ofsted framework came in in Jan 2012 16% of schools have been put in special measures as opposed to 3-5% preceding this.  The new regime only assesses schools on five categories as opposed to 33 before. 
The full report here and the letter to pupils & parents here (see facsimile below). If you would like a copy of these documents in a different format, such as large print or Braille, please telephone 0300 123 4234, or email enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk.

Does your child attend Malmesbury Primary School?  Do you have any views on the OFSTED report?


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